E3 Webinar: Effective Meetings Transcription
It’s 10:00am. I’m going to get started. Today’s topic is effective meetings. This is important because many people would rather stick a fork in their eye than attend the company meetings that are happening today. You’ve been in these meetings, I’ve been in these meetings also. If you’re not running effective meetings, this is a massive opportunity for you to get this right and get better results, so I’m excited to share with you a simple, but powerful, meeting structure from my time serving in the Nuclear Submarine Force and how you can apply this to your company.
My name is Marc Koehler, I’m the President of Lead with Purpose and the author of the recently released book, Leading with Purpose. Thanks for making the choice to join us today. This is our monthly E3 learning series, called E3 because our leadership approach is really simple. Successful leaders of today engage, empower, and then they encourage the people they lead. Every month, we’re going to share with you leadership tips and insights in how you can use your single-page plan so you can engage, empower, and encourage your team. We do have entire teams sitting in on these webinars and using them as a leadership development and training, so think about having your team join the next time.
If you’re with us for the first time and want to learn more about our tools, grab a copy of our book, Leading with Purpose, on Amazon. You can sign up for a free plan at leadwithpurpose.com, and the onboarding videos will teach you how to run your company from a single page. This is being recorded and will be available in your resources section online.
A great meeting structure is just one of the many pieces of the entire Lead with Purpose leadership blueprint. Our tools are based on my six years in the US Nuclear Submarine Force, ten years in big business and then fifteen years as an interim CEO for struggling small businesses. In this last role, I initially used the big business tools and found them to be too complex and overkill. I recognized that the small business more closely resembled the submarine; both had small teams, limited resources, were looking to accomplish a lot, and they had to be agile and navigate in a dynamic environment, so I instead applied the tools from the Navy to the small business, and only then did I start getting really good results.
For the next fifteen years the small teams of people, limited [00:02:00] resources I was faced with, forced me to be a better leader and further sharpen the tools. Now, more big businesses are using Lead with Purpose because they are faced with having to be more efficient and do more with less. When I think back, though, there were lots of reasons why this submarine was so successful, and the small business wasn’t. The major difference was the engagement level and focus of the people in the submarine was much higher.
On the submarine, every sailor was engaged because they understood the big picture, mission, their specific duties and how the entire team was counting on them. There was a strong sense of accountability to an inspiring purpose. This wasn’t present in the small businesses where I saw individuals working their 8:00 to 5:00 J-O-Bs, so my first step was to engage people, and what I saw was amazing. Using these tools and principles, the same individuals who [inaudible 00:02:49] started caring about their jobs and came together as a team to begin rowing in the same direction.
The tool that made the engagement possible was the single page plan. What it did is it allowed me and everyone else in the company to have the same, unique vantage point; we all saw the long-term big picture, inspiring story, the difference the company made in the world. All the boxes in red that are on the screen and on the same page, was how everyone was connected to the story and what their specific role was in making it come true, and these are all the boxes that are in blue. This created an engaged team, started going above and beyond. They took the extra time to do it right the first time. They provided better customer service. In short, they started treating the company more like it is their own.
Engagement made all the tools, processes, procedures that I was going to put in way more effective. In turn, that made me a better leader, and this is what we’re trying to do here with the E3 learning series is, the single page plan was the key to what I used to create an engaged team, but I was super happy when I found out I could use the same single piece of paper to address all the other responsibilities I had as a leader. With it, I was able to build a strong, values-based culture, [00:04:00] depend on the entire team to more easily manage change. I was able to run effective meetings. This is the topic we’re going to talk about today.
I more easily recognized and rewarded people. It helped me to keep people focused on really what matters most. I was able to delegate decision-making and empower people. We were able to track key metrics, and we were able to create this culture of accountability, and there were many others. The point I’m trying to make here is this single piece of paper is really powerful, and the purpose of the E3 learning series is to show you all the additional ways you can use it to become a better leader and get better results.
My Goal For You Today
To share with you as much as I can in the next forty-five minutes and show you how to use your single page plan to implement an effective meeting structure. Let’s get started. I want to get a feel for where everybody is on the call. What are the meetings that you’re currently running? In the box, I want you to just type in what are the meetings that you are currently running. What’s the meeting? What is the frequency, and then what’s the length of the meeting. If you’re running a weekly one-hour management meeting, just type in that. You can put a slash if you run a quarterly meeting or a monthly meeting. What are the different types of meetings that you’re running and the frequency? Just type those in.
Okay. Jessica, weekly leadership meeting/two hours, monthly/two hours, annual/two days. Okay. Louis, a daily fifteen meeting, weekly management meeting for an hour, monthly for an hour, quarterly/two hours, annual/four hours. Okay. I know you’re one of the great Lead book purpose users, so I appreciate you following that structure, and that’s the structure we’re going to talk about today. Joe, you have weekly production, monthly/financial, quarterly/half day, annual/four days. Okay. Susan, monthly/financial, [00:06:00] monthly/production, quarterly/one day, annual/three days. Okay. Then we have daily/one hour, monthly/two hours, quarterly/two hours. People are running a bunch of different meetings. This just gives me an understanding of where we are today and the types of meetings that you’re running in your companies.
First of all, I want to talk to you about meeting challenges. Let’s discuss the top four meeting challenges we are seeing today. Number one is, why am I here? What are we trying to accomplish? People are going to meetings, and there’s no real clear purpose of what the meeting is about. Topic are all over the place. People are unprepared. There’s no set time, so it can turn into something that takes way longer than it should, that’s number one, meetings have no clear purpose.
Number two is a lot of the meetings are getting hijacked. Someone decides to step on their soapbox for the one item that is most important to them. They talk endlessly what they have accomplished, and what needs to be done. The meeting topic drifts, and what’s happening is we’re wasting lots of time and resources.
Number three is nothing gets accomplished. There’s a lot of ideas that are discussed. If the pink elephant in the room isn’t addressed most of the time, so information is just really swept around, but no decisions are made, nothing is accomplished, and things need to be readdressed again.
The fourth thing we’re seeing is people feel like, “Hey, my opinions not valued. A leader’s just going to talk at us. He says he wants our feedback, but he really doesn’t. My opinions not valued, so I participate less and less.” Those are the top four challenges we’re seeing in meetings. What is that causing? Number one, it’s causing people to feel really frustrated. People are saying, “Hey, I don’t really want to go to that meeting. I’m going to be frustrated after I leave it,” so people are feeling frustrated.
Number two is they disengage because they don’t know really what the purpose of the meeting is, they can’t really prepare for it, and [00:08:00] since they know their opinion doesn’t count, they disengage and just say “yes” to getting the meeting over. Number three is because people aren’t engaging, we’re not getting the brainpower of the entire team to actually solve problems and manage change and drive success. Without bring the collective genius of the team to bear, we don’t always get the best solution. Finally, it’s a big waste of valuable resources and people’s time and lots of missed potential.
What I want to let you know is that successful meetings are within reach, and that’s the good news. You’ll be able to address these three challenges with what we talk about today. You’re going to have come to meetings with a sense of purpose and leave with a feeling of accomplishment towards that purpose, so people won’t feel the need to stick a fork in their eye. What I need is your commitment just to open to learning something new, but don’t be intimidated by what we’re going to share today; although it’s from the Nuclear Submarine Force, this is not nuclear physics.
Okay. We just talked about some meeting challenges and the effects it can have. What are the meeting challenges that you have in your company? Just type it in the box. What’s the biggest challenges you have to the meetings in your company? Okay. Susan, lots of info, not enough decisions. Okay. People not engaged. All right. People not prepared. Doesn’t start on time. People don’t show up on time. The meeting changes weekly. If you could just type in there, what do you mean, “the meeting changes weekly?” Is it the time of the meeting? Okay. Got it. Yeah, so the time of the meeting changes weekly. The conversation drifts, and is off topic. It’s really just a show for one person, my boss. Okay. It [00:10:00] takes too long, goes past the initial stop time. Okay. McGill, not enough forks. Excellent. No clear purpose of the meeting. Meeting drifts.
Okay. We have some good challenges. Now, what I want you to do is on a scale of one to five, what would be the impact to your meetings if we could overcome these challenges? On a scale of one to five, what would be the impact? One being low, and five being high, what would be the impact to your meetings if you could overcome these challenges? Five. Okay, five. Four. I see a bunch of fives. Four. Four. Five. Four. Five. Okay, good. That gives me a good idea.
Six Meeting Basics
We’re going to talk about six meeting basics first. What are the six meeting basics? These are from my time in the submarine force, but I think you’ll see that they also work well in small business, and you’ve probably heard a lot of these. First one is, is the meeting really necessary? Meetings aren’t just to share information anymore. It’s for addressing those things that are off track and using the collective genius of the team to get it back on track. It’s for hearing people’s opinions, getting their feedback, weighing the pros and cons and then making a decision.
If you’re just going to read from a piece of paper, just send it, and have people review it. Don’t pull them into a meeting. The first step is, is this meeting really necessary? This will be addressed by us putting the structure in place because people understand, “Hey, I need this topic that I need to talk about,” and they won’t talk about that in the daily meeting. They’ll talk about that in the weekly meeting. I think the meeting necessity will be addressed by the structure that we put in place.
Number two is the meeting purpose has to be clear. In the submarine force, before we went into any meeting, we were clear on the purpose of the meeting, and we were prepared. There was an agenda that wasn’t deviated from. [00:12:00] If one of the five people or six people didn’t show up, we still held the meeting. Now, for Lead Book Purpose users, you will find the agendas for the meetings in the resources section of your online account that you can use.
This is just an example. This is a picture. We did training every single day that was at least fifteen minutes long. Here’s the training on how to put on an emergency air breathing equipment in case of a fire. We were on an eighteen-hour schedule, not twenty-four hours, so every minute was extremely precious for us, as it would relate to sleep, and every meeting had a clear purpose and agenda.
Number three is, in the submarine force, the meeting started at 0900. It started at 9:00. It didn’t start at 8:59. It didn’t start at 9:01, and if you said it would end at 10:00, it would end at 10:00 sharp or earlier if possible. People in small companies waste a ton of time here. When one person is five minutes late to a meeting, it isn’t five minutes wasted. It is five minutes times the number of people waiting in the room. If there’s six people waiting in the room, then there has been thirty minutes of time that have been wasted, so starting on time is really important. The meeting needs to start on time and reward those who make it on time.
You, as the leader, need to be on time also. It needs to end on time, so monitor the meeting time for each section on the meeting agenda. Put a countdown timer in the room. Another thing you can do is have another meeting start immediately following the end of the meeting. Great meetings start and stop on time.
Number four is, in the submarine force, there was honest and open debate amongst the team, and it was all about the mission and our values. People understood this, so the team was able to debate freely and, collectively, get to the best solution. It was the leader’s role to look for uneasiness in others, and then get them to voice their opinion. For this to be successful, your team has to have a common purpose and a shared vision [00:14:00] and values, and they have to trust each other. To help you get there, I recommend doing a DiSC Profile analysis and having people share how they communicate and how they listen. I also recommend conflict resolution training, and if you’re interested, we have a great six weeks course online, and you and your team can take it to help you better address conflict. You will engage people just by intently listening to them, and this will ultimately help you to get to the best solution.
Number five is decisions are made. When we came together in the submarine force and put forth solutions, we would understand the risk and reward of each one. Many of the decisions we had to make were timely, so we couldn’t wait three days or until next week because there were strong repercussions to not making a decision that would affect the mission. A quick thumbs up and thumbs down is key to getting buy-in when making a decision. One thing was certain, when we all left the meeting, every one of us supported the decision fully when we left the room. The decisions of the meeting were noted and summarized and put back out to the entire team. You need to be able to do the same. Great meetings are where decisions are made.
Number six is there’s always someone to keep it on track. Everyone in the meeting could speak out to keep the meeting on track in the submarine force because everyone understood the purpose of the meeting. If it drifted, multiple people would speak out, which is really great. For any meeting, there’s a balance between letting a conversation go, but when it is way off track, then anyone on the team needs to speak up, and reel it back in.
How to Keep it on Track?
Here’s some ways to keep it on track: In a daily meeting to talk about tactical issues, if someone starts talking very strategic conversation, then we need to take that offline. If there’s six people in a meeting, and two people are solving something they can solve without others in the room, then recommend they continue the conversation offline. I would also recommend you have a visible timer that everyone can see. These are six meeting basics [00:16:00] that you can follow, which will have a significant impact for you.
People need to know the purpose. There’s better flow of information. Don’t waste people’s time. People feel heard, so they participate and get to the best solution; decisions are made; people are working collectively on items that are really just off track. When we talk about the single page plan, we don’t talk about all the things that are in green and on track. We trust each other than they’re all on track. We talk about the things that are off track.
How comfortable are you on being able to implement these in your meetings? Just type in from a one to five. One, not very comfortable. Five, very comfortable. Okay. Five. Five. Five. Four. Five. Okay, so some more four and fives. Struggle with debate. Okay. That’s probably the hardest one that’s on there, and we’ll talk about that … what we can do. What do I do about debate? Okay. Good. A couple people have questions on the debate piece. It’s not something that happens overnight, you have to really trust each other, and you do that by really making sure that you have a common purpose and a shared vision.
Once you are having debate around whether that meets our common purpose or shared vision or whether it aligns with our values, you can ask anybody any question. Then it doesn’t become personal … one person versus another person … what you’re doing is you’re asking questions on these things that you have shared and in common. Debate is something you can look at. Again, we have a six-week, online course that you can take. Okay. A bunch of fives and other fours.
If you’re able to implement these things, what do you think the difference is going to be in your meetings? If you’re able to implement just these things, what do you think the is going [00:18:00] to be? Okay. A bunch of fives. Four. Five. Okay. Fives. Okay. A bunch of fives. Okay. Good. I’m glad that you see the value in having these six meeting basics and the significant impact it’s going to have for you. Let’s get to the next piece.
Let’s talk about the three submarine meetings that were key to the operation of this billion dollar submarine on missions critical the national security. There were many other meetings that we had, but these are the three that were really key and which I brought forward to use in small business. It’s going to be helpful. This is probably the first time you’ve seen this. It’s the organization structure of the submarine and how it’s similar to the organization structure of a small business.
The commanding officer was the president. The chief operating officer was really the executive officer. They had a vice-president level, which were the department heads. Underneath them were managers, which were junior officers. There were leads, which were the enlisted chiefs. Then there were the workers in the departments. This is the organization structure of what’s on a submarine. You might not have an executive officer. You might only have one level. You might just have managers. You might not have vice-presidents, but this structure is very similar.
The first meeting that we held was a daily call. This fifteen-minute daily call first started with the officers’ call. You can see that the people that are covered in the shaded out area, these were the people that were included in the daily officer’s call. This was a fifteen-minute daily meeting, and really what we’re doing is we’re viewing the status of the mission, and we’re identifying any tactical issues that have come up that’s preventing the submarine from meeting its mission. That’s number one.
This is an example of what a daily officer’s call would look at. What we looked at were how are we progressing on our [00:20:00] KPIs? For us, it was the mission and what this coming day looked like. If we were behind, what do we need to do to make it up? We shared stories of sailors going above and beyond with the other officers, went around the room and everyone had one minute. This was identifying concrete operational issues preventing us from doing the mission and any planned maintenance we had that day. You didn’t regurgitate everything you did the previous day. That’s number one, the daily officer’s call.
Number two is then that daily call went down another level. Right after every officer’s call, every division had their fifteen minute call. The conduit between the daily officer’s call and the division was the junior officer who was in both meetings. We met with our senior chief and the enlisted team, and it was sharing what was going on so people understood how different activities on board could potentially impact them. This helped us to have information move up and down the chain very quickly, and everyone understood big picture mission and their role and how to more easily manage that change. This is the lifeblood of the submarine, and I would tell you that this is the lifeblood of your company also … the daily fifteen-minute call. That’s number one.
Number two is the weekly department head meeting. This is for the upper management structure of the submarine and would be for your company also. It’s one hour long. We use the one page executive summaries for status. We would work on the things that are not on track. We wouldn’t talk about all the things that are on track. The entire team adjusts to make sure they can ultimately meet the mission. If one department is struggling, another department might say, “Hey, I can help you out with this,” or “I can provide these additional people,” or, “When you’re struggling with that, it’s going to impact me, so I need to take account for that.” We would discuss the successes and the next month’s plan to coordinate with each other, and then department heads would then leave and then meet with their division officers, and they would have a meeting themselves. The second meeting, which was really key, was the weekly department head meeting. This is [00:22:00] something that we recommend you run also, and I’ll go over with you what that looks like.
The third meeting was a monthly all hands meeting. This monthly all hands meeting included everybody. It was, first, information and standing. It’s basically run by the commanding officer and the executive officer. People were recognized for their accomplishments in achieving qualifications or rank increases, and all of this happened in front of the entire crew and was very encouraging and engaged everyone.
The second part of this meeting was a state of the submarine from the commanding officer of the executive officer. There would be a general review of where we are, the accomplishments and things we learned and then a vision of what the next few months looked like. These are the three meetings here. This is the monthly all hands meeting. These are the three meetings I brought from the submarine force. Let’s review, now, what this looks like in your company.
Number one, the daily call. We recommend you do it as a stand up meeting with your leadership team. It happens every day at the same time and trickles down with other standing daily meetings. You can use the agenda that is in your resources section. Let’s review that really quick. For every meeting, you can see we have a meeting purpose. What is the meeting purpose of the daily call? We have who is involved. When does it happen? The time. The location. Is it facilitated by anybody? What’s the preparation? What does each person need to do to prepare to participate in this meeting?
We have an agenda for doing a book review for ten minutes. The entire team is going to read a book with each other, and then everybody goes around and talks about their top three goals for that day. Then we share any stories of people living our values, or are completing goals, or living our purpose. These [00:24:00] agendas are available, again, in your resources section. There’s one for the daily call. There’s one for the weekly. There’s one for the monthly. You also have quarterly and annual. We’re not going to talk about those today. This is really helpful. For each topic, we tell you when you are engaging people … you can see the box in red … doing the book review is really engaging people. When you are empowering people. This is the blue and the check mark, and when you are encouraging people. This is the green and the thumbs up.
Again, as we go through this, for the daily meeting … because you’re going to see this also in the weekly meeting … this is about leadership development. You read a pertinent business book. These need to be easier to consume reads like Checklist Manifesto. You might read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, our book, Leading with Purpose, The 80/20 Principle. This is what you’re doing as you’re developing your team every single day. What this meetings is, you get to feel the pulse of the company and what people are working on. Every day, it helps people make a clear choice of what their top three things are, and everyone gets to hear that.
People have said, “This helps me to have a predictable start to my day.” They love this because it gives them focus, and they begin to develop personally and professionally. Teams that do the daily meeting, they interrupt each other way less because they know what’s going on. They bring resources that are quicker to solve problems, and it frees the weekly meeting of this clutter. You can also maintain alignment with key goals because people are saying, “Hey, these are the things that I’m working on.” The keys to success of this meeting: Identify the tactical issues that are stopping the team from achieving success. This is a stand up meeting. It’s fifteen to twenty minutes long. It’s fifteen minutes if you have less people on the team, twenty minutes if you have more people on the team, so this is the daily call. I spent a lot of time on this because I wanted to go through the agenda [00:26:00] because you’re going to see this format, similar in the other team meetings.
The second meeting is the weekly leadership meeting. Again, we have the meeting purpose. We have all the logistics of what’s going to happen, the preparation. I recommend holding the weekly meeting on a Monday morning. What this does is it gets the ball rolling and people together after a long weekend. Here, everybody’s given two minutes to discuss what they did on the weekend. Then everyone’s given two to three minutes to discuss their top three priorities this week; what they’re doing to coordinate with other departments. They give a update on those things that are critical or at risk on the single page plan.
The reason we do this, and don’t talk about the things that are on track, is that we have to trust each other that if I put that goal as on track, then it’s on track, and then we won’t waste time of me saying I did these fourteen things to keep this going on track. What we do next is we discuss the status of any weekly KPIs. Monthly, we will review financials and create a meeting “to do” list, an action item list from this meeting. Then share stories down here, caught in the act stories of people living the values, the brand purpose, the vision, or completing a goal or an accomplishment.
The key is to use your single page plan in this meeting. What happens is, if you hold the meeting on Monday, on Friday everyone should go in and enter their updates, and this meeting is no longer than one hour. When we talk about using the single page plan, have the latest copy printed out. We have some people putting it on the screen. Again, everyone’s given two to three minutes to give an update on their department. You can see right here. Then look at items on the plan again that are in yellow or red status, and work on those as a team.
Here’s an example of a law firm that is actually using the single page plan in their Monday morning meeting. You can see that the plan here is [00:28:00] on the desk for everyone of the managers, and then they actually have it up on the screen, and they make changes to it right on the screen. These are some examples and ways that you can implement this weekly leadership meeting into your company. That’s the second meeting.
Next meeting is the monthly all hands meeting. Looks very similar to the monthly all hands that was being done on the pier by the commanding officer and the executive officer of the submarine. What you’re doing is that you’re recognizing people for their accomplishments. You are going to recognize special dates, birthdays, anniversaries, upcoming events or holiday, and then give a status of the company. What have we accomplished year-to-date? What are the next two, three months looking like? What’s one or two things for the team to focus on? Maybe customer fulfillment is lagging right now, “I really need the team to focus on customer fulfillment.”
If you have a cyclical business then, “The next three months, we really need to be on our A game because the number of orders coming in is going to double.” What you’re doing is you set the vision for the next two or three months as the leader. You can do some fun things where people are recognized. They play a game to win gift cards. The biggest thing is you need to be optimistic. You need to give focus. You need to make it fun, and people should leave feeling updated, and they should feel energized. They should know these are the things we’ve done really well, and this is the one, two things that the leadership team and the CEO wants us to focus on.
This is pro line racing, long-time user of Lead with Purpose. This is the president of the co… doing a monthly all hands meeting. They have a fun, little Plinko game right here where people who are caught in the act of living the values of the grand purpose can go up, and for each one they get, they get to put a Plinko in, and they get to win a little prize. This is a fun thing that you can do.
The agenda for the monthly all hands meeting, here it is. Again, meeting [00:30:00] purpose, logistics, the preparation, and then the company overview and vision from the leader, company and employee events … again, holidays, birthdays, work anniversaries … and then identify any people who are living the values and achieving things, and recognizing them in front of other people. This is the agenda for the monthly all hands meeting. That’s the third meeting.
What does this look like in your schedule? Here’s what it looks like. I just took a random month, and this is January of 2016. What you can see is that the weekly management meeting would start at 8:30. Every single Monday you’d have the weekly management meeting. All right. You’d run that just on Monday’s. Then at 9:30 every single day, you would have your daily stand up. You purposely put the daily stand up to start when the weekly management ends, so that the weekly management has to stay on track. Then the 9:30 is a daily stand up that’s for fifteen minutes. Again, you run that every single day, no matter what.
You can see down here, sometime at the end of the month, at the beginning of the next month, if you’re looking to make sure you have the results for the previous month, you would run a monthly, all hands meeting. You can put this meeting calendar together. What’s great is that people are really going to know when they discuss what, and they don’t waste each other’s time with impromptu meetings that interrupt everybody. This is the calendar and what it would look like.
There’s also quarterly and annual meetings that we discuss during the transitions from the quarterly transition and the annual transition, but these are the three meetings. [00:32:00] For you, what do you think is the most important meeting of the three meetings? Just type in what you think the most important for your company and why. From these three meetings, if it’s the daily, the weekly, or the monthly, what do you think is the most important for your company and why?
Okay. Good. Weekly meeting, leadership focus. Okay. Good. Daily meeting. Tactical focus. Good. I just like all the agendas. Okay. Good, McGill. Yeah, so I think you really like the structure. Weekly meeting. Ends in an hour. Okay. Good. Monthly all hands. Get to recognize people in front of their peers. Good. I see a bunch of weekly meetings. Weekly. Weekly. Daily. Likes the daily because of the pulse of the company. Yeah, great, John.
There’s three meetings that you can use, and you can implement. I would tell you that they’re all very important for a different reason, and they all have a different purpose. Let me just ask you real quick, so before I go on, what questions do you have? Are there any questions that you have on these three meetings? What are the questions that you have?
Is the daily meeting really important to do every day? It’s a great question. Let’s talk about what the purpose of the meeting is, and maybe that’ll help us to answer that question. What you’re doing is every single day you’re making people choose the top three things they’re going to focus on, number one. [00:34:00] Number two is you’re actually developing the people because you’re all reading a book together.
You’re not reading just an entire chapter of a book. You might read the first six pages of Checklist Manifesto, and then you talk about it. As you go around every single day, someone else is leading the discussion on that. What you’re doing is you’re not only developing people so they can learn about Checklist Manifesto, you’re developing them as a leader.
Number three is you’re helping to coordinate resources, so any resources that you have, “Hey, I’m really struggling in this area today,” and if someone has some extra time that’s in the group, they can say, “Hey, I can help you that,” or, “We can assign that,” or “Do you want to meet? Maybe there’s another way we can look at it.” Finally, you get to recognize people, “Hey, thanks so much for making the office look really great and living our value of striving for excellence.” That’s the purpose of the meeting.
I would tell you that, for me, the first most important meeting of these three is the daily meeting because you’re checking in every day with people. Remember, people want to belong to something bigger than themselves, and they want to have a sense of meaning and purpose, and we, as human beings, want to belong to a team and a group of people. What you’re doing is you’re addressing that human need that everyone of us has. I would say the daily meeting is the most important meeting.
Good, a bunch of other questions here. What if someone can’t be at the meeting? What do you do? You always still hold the meeting. People need to get into a routine and have scheduled their day and week, so changing it to another time just messes up everyone else’s schedule. If there’s typically six people in the meeting and there’s only two people in the office, then you run it with the two. I know that sounds sort of crazy, but you run it with the two because if you say, “Hey, look. We’re going to change the management meeting from Monday at 8:30 to Monday afternoon at 1:00,” everybody else has their entire schedule set for the week, so [00:36:00] you’re going to have conflict changing it also.
Again, set a time, have people set it in their schedule, and people are going to be at that meeting. We’ve had five people in the room, and one person is traveling, and they call in, and they listen in, and they participate that way. That’s a really good question. Where are the agendas? If you go to your resources section online, when you see your plan, you’re going to see the hamburger. It’s the three horizontal lines to the right of management. You just click on that, and you’ll go to the resources section. When you go in the resources section, you’ll see all of these meeting agendas. We also have the meeting agendas for the annual and the quarterly transition meetings, but today we’re focusing on the daily, the weekly, and then the all hands monthly.
How do you keep the meetings on time? Okay. We talked about this as one of the six meeting basics. It’s a really good question. Someone has to have a watch, and I just take a watch, and I put it out in front of me, and then I’m always checking the watch and always making sure that we’re on track. That’s number one. Number two is you need to keep people focused on the topic and the purpose of the meeting.
If the meeting starts to drift or starts to get off topic, what’s great about the agenda is we can say, “Hey, look it, Joe, the purpose of this meeting is to talk about these things. I know that’s really important what you’re discussing, but let’s finish the purpose of our meeting first, then if we have some extra time, we’ll tackle that,” or, “What we’ll do is we can call another meeting, and we can address that.” Another thing I’ve seen is on the big screen, I’ve seen people put a countdown timer. It counts down from sixty minutes down to zero. When it goes off, it buzzes and makes a noise. Those are just some ideas for you to keep the meetings on track. A lot of the other questions were around those same [00:38:00] questions that I just answered. Let’s go to the next thing.
I have an E3 bonus for you. The E3 bonus is going to show you examples of how to use the single page plan to engage and empower and encourage people specifically in meetings. Everything that’s in red is about engaging people, and it’s the symbol of the heart. This is just an example, the connection to purpose. In a meeting, a gentleman, one of your people, Bill, might be really struggling with a quarterly goal, and it might be at risk. The way you can use it to engage that person and then keep them connected to the purpose and have them keep understanding how what they’re doing is linked to something bigger than themselves is you could say, “Bill, I know this quarterly goal is a real challenge, but when you solve this, it would help more people to reach their full potential.” What you can do is make sure that you continue to make that connection.
A second way is when we talk about encouraging people. When someone maybe completes a goal, you can recognize them and say, “Hey, Cindy, great job on completing your quarterly goal.” Another way to encourage is by talking about people living the values. If you receive a call from a customer, you could say, “Hey, Joe, I received a call from Litton, who was really happy with how you solved the product return they had. Thanks for treating them ‘customer first.'” This is the power of using the single page plan and how you can use it in meeting to engage and encourage people.
I have a second E3 bonus here, and we’re going to talk about things that you can do to empower people. For empowering people, tracking the annual and quarterly boxes are used to create accountability and focus and have a conversation around the status, so you can also hold people accountable by using the values. For further focus, people use the single page plan to identify their top three priorities for the day, the week, the month, [00:40:00] and they should tie to the quarterly goal and the annual goals for the grand purpose or values.
Here’s an example of keeping people aligned, “Bill, that’s a great thought, but how does that align with, and help us to reach our ten-year vision of a window in every state?” This is how we can keep people aligned and really focused. Another example is on goal status, “Hey, Cindy, two of your three goals are complete. Well done on those. What needs to happen so we get the third one completed?” Then one might be not living the values, “Joe, one of our values is customer first. How do you rate yourself on talking to Sylvin about their product returns? What should we do differently next time?” These are questions that you can ask.
Lastly is the top three focus using the single page plan in any of the meetings that we talk about, people are going to talk about, “Hey, my top three today are …” If this was HR in finance, it would be hire the last person. This is a quarterly goal that they have, and then meet with Joe on the new process for what happened with Sylvin, and then get out the customer satisfaction survey, which is an annual goal. The point is this single page, I’ve just showed you seven different ways you can use this single page to engage, empower, and encourage people. We do a lot of this in the meetings, and the agendas that we have for each one of the specific meetings has areas of the agenda that are in red, that are in blue, and that are in green. Again, this is engage, empower, and encourage.
Okay. Good. I’m going to wrap it up here, and just do a summary. When we talk about meeting basics, the best companies that hold really good meetings, and their meetings have these six characteristics. Is the meeting necessary, number one. Number two, it has a clear purpose. Number three, they debate, and they have conflict around getting to the best [00:42:00] solution. It starts on time and stops on time, decisions are made in the meeting, and someone’s there to keep it on track. That’s number one, those six meeting basics.
Then we talked about the three meetings. There’s the daily stand up, which is fifteen to twenty minutes long. Its purpose is to identify the top three for the day, solve any tactical problems, professionally develop people, and build your culture by recognizing people. Then there’s the weekly one-hour management meeting. It’s reviewing the single page plan, discussing the at-risk and critical goals and instilling a culture of accountability. It helps to set the top three priorities for the week, and, again, you’re holding everyone accountable.
Finally, there’s a monthly all hands meeting. It’s the vision of the next, really, two to three months. It’s how we’ve done over the last couple months. What are one to two things we need to focus on? Any special dates or anniversaries that have happened, and then you can play some fun games and build your culture by recognizing people. Good. What’s the tool you use for all of this? For the daily meeting, the tool is the single page plan, and we have an agenda for you. The tool for the weekly meeting is the single page plan. Guess what? We have an agenda for you. The tool for the monthly meeting is the single page plan. Guess what? We have an agenda for you. A tool for the quarterly and annual meeting is also the single page plan. We’ll talk about that at another time.
This is what’s really powerful about the single page plan and how you can use it in this entire meeting structure. If you’re able to follow this structure, and put this in place, people are going to enjoy coming to meetings because of the meeting basics. Your meetings are going to have purpose. People are going to feel engaged, and they’re going to feel listened to. You’re going to get to the best solution, and then you’re going to make great use of your people’s time. If you’re able to do that, what it’s going to do is help you to be a much better leader, and you will [00:44:00] save more forks and more eyes and actually think of how we can change how forks are used, from damaging eyes to protecting them. You can see I like to have a little fun.
All right. We’re going to end right here. When we think about spending the last forty-five minutes on this webinar and talking, what’s the most beneficial to you about the meeting structure I’ve shared with you? Then type in the impact this will have for you and your team? What’s the most beneficial thing you’ve seen on the webinar, and what’s the impact it’ll have for you? Okay. Simplicity of structure, five. Yes, love how simple the structure is. First meeting basic, is meeting required? Can you rephrase that, please? I’ll come back to you. Like seeing on the calendar of meetings. Yeah, when you take a look at the calendar, it looks pretty simple, and it gives you some structure and format and a good set of habits.
How I can use the single page plan in different ways. The meeting agendas, where are those located? Again, they’re in the resources section in your plan. You like the E3 bonus slides. Good. Five. How simple it is for submarines and how to apply it to my company. A lot of people don’t know this, the average age on the submarine, of the hundred and ten person crew, is twenty-three years old. Although the submarine’s a very complex, small business, trying to accomplish a mission under extreme duress, we needed to make things very simple so that twenty-three year olds could help to manage it and drive its success. The six meeting basics. The professional training, reading the books daily.
Yes, that’s a big thing that people really love because you’re investing in them.[00:46:00] The big thing is it’s not just about reading the book, but it’s also saying then, “Hey, we read this book. How are we going to apply what we learned today to our company?” You put a five next to it. My people will be happy about the structure. Okay. Good. Yeah, when the meetings move all around … and you put a five next to it … when the meetings move all around, they really struggle with that.
I’m glad you got a lot out of this. Let’s just go to the next piece. If you want to stay on, you can. We’re going to talk about other tools and other resources that we’re making available to the group. Again, this is one of my favorite slides. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. If you’re not using a single page plan, then there’s a huge opportunity for improvement to get your people more engaged and laser focused. Leaders, like yourselves, are loving it because they can use the same single page for many different purposes and give you everything you need to be a much better leader. Again, if you want to learn more about Leading with Purpose, you can get our book, which walks you through how to do this, and you can use our free plan at leadwithpurpose.com.
I’m going to share with some resources that are available to you now. Our team, for the last six months, been working really hard, and so there’s some new things that are going to help you to be a better leader and help you to engage, empower, and encourage the people that you lead. Number one is we launched the Leading with Purpose book on October 18th. It is currently on Amazon. It’s a great tool to use in your business not only for yourself, but also for your leadership team. It has, in the front, how to put together the single page plan, but in the back, it has the seven principles you can follow so that you can create an engaged and empowered team. The response and reviews have been very strong.
We were recently notified by the USA Best Book Awards that we were one of the award winners for the category of leadership and management. Barnes and Noble also contacted us that the [00:48:00] book was the bookseller recommends in the leadership and management, which is a great recognition because there’s a lot of books in the leadership and management section at a Barnes and Noble. They put a special sticker up there that said, “Hey, if you’re in this section, this is the book that you should really look at.” Look to get a copy of your book to further ingrain Lead with Purpose into your company, and make best use of the single page plan.
Number two is we have a new website. It’s cleaner. It’s easier to understand, put more of what you need at your fingerprints. This was launched on October 25th also. We’re super excited about this, so take a look at it, and tell us what you think. Number three is we have our monthly E3 learning series. Again, that’s a one-hour, free webinar to teach you the tips and tricks and things you can take away and implement in your business immediately. Again, it’s E3 because it’s engaging, empowering, and encouraging.
Last month was the Q3, the Q4 transition, really well-attended, and this is Effective Meetings. Next month is going to be on 2016 planning, how you can close the year strong, and get ready for 2016. You can invite your team to join this, and use it as a leadership and development training. Next is a set of getting started series videos. These are three videos. One is on the initial setup of the plan. The second one is on the leadership section. The third one is on the management section. Again, all you do is you go into your plan, and you go to the resources section, and you’ll be able to view these videos. There’s more that we have coming in the next couple quarters.
Number five is we have a unique program for companies in the State of California. It’s been going on for years, but just this last year, three Lead with Purpose companies were recently approved to receive a reimbursement for Lead with Purpose training they’re doing. There are a lot of details, but it is for [00:50:00] companies with thirty employees or more. There’s twenty-nine different types of business, including software, construction, healthcare, manufacturing, or there’s a category, if you get twenty-five percent of your revenues from out of state, from your clients, then you can qualify.
It is up to fifteen hundred dollars per employee per year, so this was a really nice thing that the state has recognized, that the Leading with Purpose and Lead with Purpose tool set is worth being reimbursed for and is a value to small businesses. All right. These are five new resources that we’re really excited to share with you. What it does is it puts more at your fingertips so you can get the most out of Lead with Purpose.
We’re coming to the end of the E3 webinar. I want to thank you for taking the time to come spend with us. I hope you’ve learned a lot about how to run effective meetings and the big result and the big difference that this can make in your company if you implement these tools and best practices, and make this a great habit. Go out and make it a great day.