What is the goal of this meeting?
This is one of the most important meetings of any senior leader’s weeks. It’s a dedicated time to bring together the leaders of every major function of your business. With all of these individuals in the room, the goal of this meeting should be to make decisions, solve problems, align cross-functionally, and build empathy across the organization.
Why have it weekly?
With 52 weeks in a year, weekly meetings offer senior leaders 52 chances to correct the ship. Doing these meetings on a weekly cadence also ensures that your leadership team can get into a productive rhythm where you can discuss and solve any issues before they become major problems that can derail the entire organization.
Leadership team meeting template walk-through:
1. Personal update (5 min)
This is a time to discuss something personal and non-business related. Doing this helps build better relationships within your senior leadership team by finding commonalities between your leaders. Building great relationships amongst senior leaders goes a long way when it comes to addressing any misunderstandings or friction between teams, especially those which have a history of being pitted against one-another (i.e. sales and marketing).
Although it may seem like a waste of time, discussing personal updates makes it easier to build empathy amongst the team. Whether it’s talking about hobbies like gardening, or bonding over family activities to do with kids, this is an important item to have on the agenda.
2. Metrics (20 min)
This is where you’ll learn more about whether or not the ship needs to be corrected. With a lot of metrics to cover, it’s important that you narrow down your metrics and focus on the 3-7 most important metrics and discuss them every single week. This will allow you to get a better sense of progress (or lack thereof). The number of metrics you pick will ultimately depend on how you’ve structured your organization and how many leaders are in the meeting. So, if you have one leader representing the sales arm of your company, decide on one metric that they will share every week (i.e. opportunities won), and have them explain why it went up or down. Also have them discuss any quick highlights or major projects coming up that they expect will move this number (up or down). Do this with every leader who’s part of the meeting.
3. Wins and insights (5 min)
Alternate each week between customer wins and insights and employee ones.
Customer wins and insights
- What are customers saying about your product or service?
- How can you use those insights in your marketing collateral or sales pitches?
- Are there areas of the product that need improving?
- Are customers requesting the same feature or reporting the same bug through your support channels?
Use this time to pinpoint any major wins to celebrate or insights to action on as a team.
Employee wins and insights
Take the time to recognize the achievements of the people within the organization. Did someone on the support team turn a really upset customer into a brand advocate? Highlight that. When you're able to recognize employee wins across the organization it will help promote more cross-functional recognition to occur. This acts as a great engagement tool for your company.
It's an incredible feeling for any employee to know that their manager not only recognizes their achievements but that they're sharing it with others in the company who also recognize great work.
4. Messages to share (5 min)
For many senior leaders, there are a lot of disagreements that tend to occur within the room and that’s normal. Use this time to determine what important information you’d like to communicate to the entire company, that way you’re able to put up a unified front. When sharing these messages with the entire team, think about things like:
- What’s the most important goal for the company and how are you tracking against that goal?
- How the SLT feel about the current state of the business
- Important information about your upcoming retreat
There’s a lot you can share with the team, but make sure that you’re being as transparent as possible so that you continue to build trust with the entire organization.
5. Hot seat (15 min)
Every week, select a new leader to be put in the hot seat for the meeting. For example, one week you can have your CMO on the hot seat and the following week, it will be your VP, Engineering. Whoever is on the hot seat will prepare a presentation about their function, this can be structured in many ways, including presenting:
- What work has been done between this presentation and the last time they presented
- What work has been done in the last 30 days. (Did they hit goals? Why or why not?)
- A test run of their board meeting presentation
Spend about 10 minutes on the presentation and 5 on sharing feedback. Are there any major roadblocks that were presented that another team can step in and help unblock? Having the hot seat means that every department will have better visibility into what others are working towards, any major blockers and get good visibility into each department. It also offers up a great opportunity for leaders to critique one another’s strategy to make sure the entire team is always aligned and working towards the same collective goals.
6. Issues (10 min)
This item is an easy segway from the hot seat. If any issues have been identified, whether through the hot seat or other things that have come up during the week, this time should be used to address the issues and the best ways to solve them. Every meeting, aim to solve the most important and pressing issue and, if there’s time, move onto the next one.
For example, if there is a common complaint that support is receiving but not enough engineering resources to solve that problem immediately, decide as a team what the best way forward is for that week. Should engineering push back other feature release dates to fix this issue or should the support team continue to do their thing for another week? This is your dedicated time to discuss these things.
About this template
The goal of this cross-functional agenda is to share the necessary information so that leaders in their respective areas can make decisions.
Leadership Team Meeting FAQs
How long should a leadership team meeting be?expand_morechevron_right
You should initially set your leadership team meetings for 1 hour with your team. If you prepare and share an agenda in advance you're likely to get through more faster.
How often should you have leadership team meetings?expand_morechevron_right
Most leadership team meetings tend to occur weekly. As you go through a few iterations of them you may need to increase or decrease the frequency.
What should you discuss during a leadership team meeting?expand_morechevron_right
6 great things to discuss in your Leadership Team Meeting:
- Personal update (5 min)
- Metrics (20 min)
- Wins and insights (5 min)
- Messages to share (5 min)
- Hot seat (15 min)
- Issues (10 min)
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