Great Leadership Team Meetings

Great strategy execution starts at the top with an aligned, coordinated, and supportive leadership team. It is built on a great weekly Leadership Team Meeting. Many teams never realize the full value these meetings can deliver.

Let’s explore how to do it right.

Start with meeting objectives. This meeting is the one time reserved each week when leadership works together “on the business.” The meeting incorporates ACT objectives:

  • Support and hold each other accountable – A
  • Review and track progress for key priorities – A
  • Solve issues – C
  • Help each other improve how work gets done – C
  • Uncover Issues, Insights, Ideas – T
  • Share feedback – T
  • Build trust and coordination – T

But, Jon, we’re too busy getting things done to spend 90 minutes away from our day jobs! If all participants don’t get a 10x return from spending this time together, you need to radically change how you prepare for, conduct and follow-up on these meetings. Let’s explore each.


The first preparation step is to ensure you have a business model with a current quarterly plan. As the philosopher Seneca elegantly put it, “If one knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable.” Create shared goals, and plans to reach them, so that all agree to where they are sailing. Ensure team alignment around the high level positioning items of Mission, Vision and Values down through the current 90 day plan with your most important Goals and Rocks that work toward them. Keep your business model cheat sheet current and available for review.

Next prepare by scheduling the meeting with standing:

  • Time and day of week
  • Place
  • Agenda
  • Members
  • Pre-work

Most teams will make the best progress when they meet weekly. This is a good cadence to keep coordinated and allow enough progress between meeting. Some teams may be moving faster and need to meet twice a week or add shorter standups between meetings. Others may find they can make good progress meeting ever other week if other coordinating activities keep them aligned.

Tuesday mornings are my favorite time to meet. This sets the right opportunity for prep and allows for progress throughout the week on priorities and action items discussed at the meeting. In person meetings are best for dynamic interaction, but allow for remote when circumstances prevent in-person participation by anyone. Attendance should include 5-9 standing members that lead key areas.

Pre-work by all participants is the most important preparation step to keep meetings productive and within the 90 minute time frame.

First, ensure the scorecard is updated with current metrics each week. Distribute it at least a day before the meeting to allow review.

Next, consider ways for participants to share written updates prior to the meeting and move other meeting items forward asynchronously outside of the meeting. This creates documentation for the meeting and allows the meeting to have more value added interaction that probes and clarifies rather than taking most of the time for routine updates.

For example, I’ve seen good implementation of weekly standup content that is created by all the day before. Have each person share Rock accomplishments, next steps and any issues before the meeting. This streamlines that part of the meeting while allowing good interaction. Add an update of action item tracking and bulleting any company highlights by each and all can come ready to support each other with good understanding of collective status. Create an asynchronous issue ranking system to pick the most important issue to start working at the meeting and another agenda item is streamlined.


After much experimentation, the agenda I find that works best for most is:

5 min – Segue: Each person briefly shares something good from the week to transition. Keep it brief. Topics shared can launch more personal discussions throughout the week.
5 min – Score Card Review: This reminds team of goals and rocks for the quarter. Identify where team is on track for achieving goals, and where they may be trending poorly or underperforming. Identify any issues and document them on the issues list. Issues may be assigned an owner. It is not the time to solve them.
5 min – Company Highlights: Share good and bad news around key prospects, customers, partners and employees. Anyone can share wins and concerns. Again, any issues go on the list and may be assigned an owner. It is not the time to solve them.
15 min – Rocks Stand-up Meeting: Each member should review and discuss Rocks they own:
1. Accomplishments since last meeting
2. Action Items planned for the coming week, and
3. any Blocking Issues – only identify and capture on list; not quite time to solve.
50 min – Issues Resolution Process: It’s time to problem solve with the brain-trust of the business. Agree to priority and owners. Work them one at a time starting with the highest priority issue. Find root causes and decide on best solutions and action items. If not possible to solve in timely manner at the meeting, agree to a resolution approach and timeframe. Take the decision process offline using and approach like RAPID when possible.
10 min – Wrap up: Review decisions and action items from the meeting, identify if any company communications need to happen, and ensure team is ready for the next meeting. Evaluate each meting to identify at least one good to continue and one needs improvement to work on.

Analyzing this agenda, about 1/3 of the meeting time is focused on coordinating action and uncovering issues and insights. More than half is spent solving issues. The remainder is used for good meeting practices.

At the end of the meeting, all should have confidence that their current ideas around shared elements of business model continue to have good:

  • Relevance: Do we still have the right business model?
  • Progress: Are we making the right progress?
  • Mood: Is everyone still onboard?

And all know how they will work in the coming week to continue to move these forward to deliver quarterly and longer-term outcomes.

Pair this agenda with with good meeting practices that include:

  • Start and End on Time
  • A Meeting Facilitator
  • Time box each section
  • Document Outcomes
  • Track Action Items

Starting and ending on time shows respect for everyone. This is a high-cost meeting and no one wants to spend the first 5 minutes waiting for a quorum or knowing that they can’t schedule anything else on their calendars for an hour after the meeting. Having a standing meetings allows all to protect it on their calendars. A focus on promptness results in higher evaluation scores, because no one feels like the meeting becomes a time sink. Keep true to the clock first, then focus on getting the most out of the time reserved.

The meeting facilitator is responsible making sure attendees follow the agenda, stay on track and document decisions. They don’t need to do all these things themselves, but they can set an example by modeling the correct behavior. Everyone should help make this successful and encourage participation. I like to rotate facilitation so that all attendees feel ownership for getting good results and understand how their behaviors can benefit and detract from good outcomes. Often, the best results are when the senior leader is last to speak and not facilitating. To get started, it can help to have an experienced third party lead a session or critique newer facilitators.

Time boxing reinforces clock management, ensuring no one part of the meeting gets bogged down. Have a time keeper that alerts the team when the allotted time on the agenda has expired. Or have a safe word that anyone can use to call “time out” when rabbit holes are being dug. Agree in advance about how to reconcile when there is a desire to continue a topic past this time. A best practice is to document the point of discussion as an issue or action item and move on within no more than a few minutes of running over time. It’s always OK to use less than the allowed time.

Finally, this meeting is about getting stuff done and holding each other accountable. Documentation is the best way to make this happen. Record all decisions on the appropriate list during the meeting to ensure team agreement:

  • Some decisions are documented as resolutions in your issue tracking.
  • Most will require capturing action items to implement and communicate.

Try to make action items things that can be accomplished by the next meeting. The list should document next steps for delivering rocks and for implementing issue resolution decisions. If new action items need a long time to implement, realize that they may displace focus on rocks for the quarter and ensure they are true priorities over existing rocks.

Some teams find minutes useful. You can record meetings by including a Zoom, Teams or Google option in meetings. Tools like Otter, Anchor and Hypercontext can create transcripts without anyone in the meeting being bogged down with note taking.


The best way to ensure follow-up from the meeting is to make any action items a part of your everyday execution. Your meeting documentation should be shared with the whole team. All team members will consult it throughout the week to set their priorities and to-dos. Have them track status on this documentation as they work on issues, rocks and action items.

The easiest way to get started with good meeting documentation and tracking is to use a google doc. This doc should share the business model and current plans for easy access. The current weekly score card should be kept up to date. Issues and Action Items should be tracked. This is the leadership meeting template I use. Note the tabs for each area documented:

If teams are using a tool like Monday, Clickup, Trello, or Notion, create a template and manage this meeting along with other team activities. These tools add structure in an easy to integrate way with other team accountability tracking

Most teams want to be self-managed. Some teams invite an admin or staff member to help administer the meeting to ensure updates and communication happen more smoothly. But, I find self-management is required at least for accountability portions. Make a commitment among all to be ready each week, to track activities, to properly prepare, and to fully participate and support all team members.

If a member is not doing their part, consider how to coach them to success. Continued failure to meet team standards may be reason for people changes. As with all other areas of success, having the “right people on the bus” is the most important requirement for success. Not meeting expectations at this meeting is a fail on values in people evaluations.

As with other areas of the #StrategyOS, adapt the Leadership Team Meeting to your team’s unique needs and values. These meetings can happen at any level of the business and are most valuable when the span of influence is big enough. Cascade meetings in larger organizations. Smaller teams should consider a periodic standup meeting with ad-hoc problem solving as a way to stay coordinated with less overhead.

The weekly leadership team meeting is part of the execution meeting rhythm that also includes quarterly and annual strategy refreshes.

TL/DR: Experience shows these fundamental needs for success:

  • Standing meeting place, time, date, attendees
  • Standing agenda
  • Everyone completes pre-work
  • Meeting owner/facilitator
  • Document during the meeting
  • Track follow-up actions

Please follow, share, like, and reach out. Contact me from the about page or on LinkedIn if I can answer any questions or help address a specific need you have.

For more about effective meetings, read Perfect Meetings.

Remember to follow your Passion, find Joy in your work, and create Freedom to pursue all of life’s priorities.

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