How to Run Effective Executive Leadership Team Meetings

How to Lead Effective Executive Leadership Team Meetings

Running effective executive leadership team meetings is an important Leadership skill. But surprisingly, we have Coached many CEOs whose Executive Leadership Team (ELT) meetings aren’t as effective or efficient as they could be and the price is wasted Executive time, which is very costly.

ELT meetings are often ineffective because they lack a clear:

  • Purpose
  • Meeting Agenda
  • Meeting Structure
  • Desired Product

Avoid the Round Robin Tell ELT Meeting Structure

Often, these CEOs run their ELT Meetings with a “Tell” Meeting Structure. They go around the room and everyone “tells” the group what they’re doing and accomplishing and possibly some issues they’re facing.

There’s no discussion, no problem solving, no brainstorming, no real interaction of any kind.  “Tell” meetings aren’t working meetings, they are listening meetings.  And, the passivity they create and condone is a bad organizational precedent.  Usually “Tell” Meeting topics could be shared with a couple of bullet points in an email, which would be a much more efficient use of an Executive team’s time.

The “Tell” Meeting Structure doesn’t utilize the Executives’ collective wisdom, doesn’t promote cross-functional problem solving, doesn’t develop relationships, and doesn’t promote big-picture or strategic thinking.

And, it doesn’t produce anything. Most effective executive leadership team meetings have a product that comes out of them, e.g., a flowchart, a cause & effect diagram, another type of document, action items, a decision, a timeline, project plan, task list with assigned responsibilities, a list of ideas.

Luckily, this organizational resource management pitfall (wasted Executive time), can be corrected by using a meeting structure that fully utilizes the team’s technical and organizational knowledge, mental acuity, emotional intelligence, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.

Meetings that are structured and well-run will more likely be a productive use of a Leadership team’s time.

Below are some sample ELT Meeting Agendas that can help you lead more effective executive leadership team meetings:

Sample ELT Meeting Agendas to Create Effective Executive Leadership Team Meetings

Strategic ELT Meeting Agendas

Review of Top Organizational Objectives

  • Identify Risks
  • Identify Barriers
  • Brainstorm Corrective Actions
  • Assign Responsibility
  • Establish Timeline

Big Picture Organizational Review

  • What’s going on in the company?
  • What’s going on with the customers?
  • What’s going on with the market?

Competitor Review

  • Who are our competitors and what characteristics do they have?
  • How are they like us and different than us?
  • How are our competitors growing?
  • What products and services are our competitors creating?
  • How are they capturing our customers?

Customer Feedback Review

  • Develop plans for sustained performance for positive comments
  • Develop corrective actions for deficiencies
  • Identify future risks

Tactical ELT Meeting Agendas

New or Existing Product or Service Design Critique

  • Review design
  • Give feedback
  • Identify action items
  • Assign action items with due dates

New or Shifting Project Review

  • Here is my plan
  • Are you good with this?
  • Which departments does this affect?
    • What do they need to be apprised of?
    • How will this impact them?
    • What do they need to do?
  • What is the priority of this project and how does it fit with our Business Plan?
  • What resources are needed?
  • Does the project need a cross-functional plan?

Project Close Review

  • Victories
  • Lessons Learned
    • Process corrections needed
    • Root cause analysis
    • Identify future risks
    • Identify future resources needed

Utilizing these ELT Meeting Agendas, or any meeting structure that produces a product and actively engages the ELT members, will greatly improve the quality of your ELT meetings and your ELT’s ability to lead the organization.

If disruptive meeting behaviors (e.g., stonewalling, side-talking, dominating) are slowing you and your team down, check out my article on 5 Power Steps for Stopping Disruptive Meeting Behaviors or listen to the podcast here.

Learn more about Running Effective Executive Team Leadership Meetings.

Be the Leader you’ve always wanted to be!