Use this template to build an agenda for your next leadership team meeting. Facilitate the conversation and make strategic decisions.
Review the key metrics and track progress against the set goals.
What’s the revenue increase?
Leaders from different departments share major updates to keep everyone informed.
Highlight good news with the team to celebrate.
What can we learn from the recent success?
Identify top issues in the company that hinders development and discuss possible solutions.
What’s going on in the market, and do we find any new opportunities to grow our business?
What are our current priorities?
@name Task by DUE-DATE
A company's success depends heavily on the quality of its leadership’s decisions, and arriving at the best decisions often requires careful deliberation and debates.
Proceeding to act without a leadership team meeting would often result in undesirable outcomes. Therefore, before a company proceeds with a line of action, its leadership must take time to evaluate and understand the situation, discuss opportunities and risks, determine and align on its approach, and draw up a plan.
It is, however, crucial to note that there is a learning curve for holding successful leadership meetings. The executive team must have a firm grasp of the scope of the meeting, the right cadence, talking points, and best practices.
We will walk you through all these in this guide.
As the name implies, leadership team meetings are meetings where a company's leadership sits together to discuss vital company issues and make plans.
The meeting generally includes the company’s CEO, executive, department heads, managers, and team leads.
But it also depends on the company’s size and policy. For instance, larger organizations typically have sessions that include the CEO and central executive, while smaller organizations tend to involve every leader in the company.
There is a common misconception that leadership team meetings should be held only the need arises, such as during a crisis, at the start of the financial year, or when there are other major structural changes.
While these scenarios are valid reasons to convene a leadership team meeting, they are not the only reasons to hold them. Leadership team meetings should be frequent and recurring to 1) keep all leaders in touch and abreast with the state of the company’s affairs and 2) Have regular evaluations of the company and its trajectory for good decision-making.
Weekly leadership team meetings that run between 45 and 90 minutes are a generally preferred cadence. However, this might not be ideal for all companies. An easy way to arrive at a frequency that works for everyone is to get an opinion on their preferred cadence.
Leadership team meetings can be divided into several different categories based on their frequency or purpose and can also intersect with other meeting types. However, broadly speaking, there are two types of leadership team meetings:
Strategy meeting: Strategy meetings are held to facilitate discussions revolving around the organization’s strategic focus and approach.
The focus here is not just performance or projects but more substantive issues that go into the policy, priorities, identity, industry positioning, or purpose of the organization. Because of this, strategic meetings are often infrequent. An example of what might be discussed in a strategic meeting is crafting or changing a brand identity, employee compensation, and customer privacy,.
Operations meeting: Operations meetings, on the other hand, occur more frequently (weekly or bi-weekly) because they often revolve around issues on everyday happenings in the company.
The focus of operation meetings is often reviews, evaluations, roadblocks, and small changes that can be made to bring the company closer to achieving its goals.
As mentioned earlier, decision-making is one of the main reasons leadership team meetings are held. But the case and benefit of executive meetings have evolved beyond this.
Holding regular executive meetings keeps the company’s leadership stay aligned on the organization’s goals, priorities, and direction, which helps create synergy in their thinking and work.
Timeframes are also a crucial point of alignment. By emphasizing when the timeline for each project or task, members of the leadership team can make adjustments to meet up. This way, delays are avoided or at least communicated.
Collaboration and support
Cross-departmental collaboration and support are major perks of leadership team meetings.
By listening to updates from other departments, leaders across teams can note where their goals and responsibilities intersect and work together to achieve them.
Feedback and accountability
Leadership team meetings thrive on open conversation, which, in turn, fosters feedback and accountability.
Leaders are allowed to respectfully express their opinions on projects and suggest ways to improve them. They can also get a better look into the one anothers’ work and team, identify pitfalls and make recommendations.
One of the best ways to stay competitive in today’s ever-changing business environment is by keeping your operations agile. By adopting an agile approach of regular assessment and iteration, your organization can quickly identify risks and opportunities and immediately address them.
Executive team meetings, especially when they are frequent, make this possible by allowing leaders to convene and discuss changes as they occur and immediately respond to them.
Two things you need to learn about conducting effective leadership team meetings are how to prioritize and how to collaborate. This is because most leadership teams often have a lot to talk about because the meetings are seen as an opportunity to thrash out everything they have in mind or are dealing with in the period under review.
But this could lead to long-winded conversations that go nowhere or take away from time that could have been spent on more important matters. So, it is crucial to define your meeting goals before anything else.
Ask the following questions:
What would we like to achieve with this meeting?
What are the most important issues we need to discuss now?
Once you determine this, you can proceed to rank the objectives and issues in their order of priority or have meeting participants vote for them ahead of the meeting. Settle two or three goals for the meeting, as well as the most urgent topics.
You can either use the leadership team meeting template provided above or create your own agenda from scratch.
In any case, the main components of the agenda are the meeting objectives, topics, and the timeframe for each topic. Specifying the time frame for each topic will help avoid wasting time and keep the conversation focused and productive.
It is good practice to run the agenda by other meeting participants and get their thoughts and input on it before finalizing it. This way, you can agree on as much as possible before going to the meeting, and the conversation can stay on what is absolutely necessary to discuss.
The meeting invite should be shared early to give meeting participants sufficient notice. However, you should take the invite a step further by including the final agenda and any other information or document relevant to the conversation at the meeting.
This is a great chance to communicate your expectation and intention while giving other members a chance to prepare for the meeting.
While the agenda provides a guide for the conversation, most of what happens during the meeting are the responsibility of the facilitator.
If you are responsible for facilitating a leadership team meeting, do your best to engage everyone at the meeting by asking for their opinion, respecting their voice, allowing them to speak uninterrupted, and listening actively. It is also vital to keep the conversation productive and on course.
As a facilitator or participant at the meeting, you should show regard for the time of your colleagues by being prompt and keeping your responses or presentation clear, direct, and straight to the point.
Record-keeping in leadership team meetings is non-negotiable, and you should delegate the task to a specific person beforehand, most often an Assistant.
However, manual note-taking is often arduous and results in losing concentration while the conversation is ongoing or focusing too much on the meeting that the notes become inadequate.
Using note-taking apps like Airgram that offer live transcription and note-storage options is the perfect way to focus on the meeting while ensuring that your notes are covered.
Before concluding the meeting, define the next line of action for each resolution reached and assign them to participants or teams that would be responsible for executing them.
It is important to create timelines so that the assignees are clear on what is expected of them and when.
At the end of the meeting, share the meeting minutes with all the participants and other stakeholders that need to be informed of what was discussed in the meeting and the decisions reached, which will keep everyone on the same page.
Without a clear idea of what your talking points should be about, your leadership team meeting agenda might go off tangent and even wastes precious time. So, to avoid deviating from the true purpose of a leadership meeting, the agenda must reflect the most important talking points, as outlined in the agenda above, which are:
Wins and insights
These five talking points are essential in securing a successful leadership team meeting.
Kick off the meeting with a quick welcome, then focus the conversation on tracking the company’s performance or progress against its goals using key metrics.
The discussion is intended to highlight quantifiable results backed up by data to measure how much has been achieved and what else needs to be done. Questions that can be used to kickstart this conversation include:
What’s the revenue increase?
What is the data on our customer retention?
This review often offers the perfect transition into other topics in the meeting because there it paints a clear picture of where the company is with its goals and where it needs to be.
How updates work is pretty straightforward. Here, leaders from different departments share major updates relating to their departments or teams. The aim of this activity is to keep every leader informed of what is going on around the company.
To avoid losing too much time to this conversation, it is advisable to indicate how much time is allotted to each team in your agenda. For example, it could look something like this.
Product team lead (3 minutes)
Marketing team lead (2 minutes)
Sales team lead (2 minutes)
Tech support lead (2 minutes)
HR team lead (2 minutes)
Highlighting the achievements the company and its members have recorded in the period under review is a great way to boost your team’s morale and acknowledge their hard work.
You can take this further by concluding the lessons that can be learned from the wins and then discussing how can we employ them to make more achievements.
The leadership team should also take the time to analyze customer or employee insights, which provide pointers on what the company is doing well and what it can improve on.
What are customers saying about the new product?
What feature do our customers request most?
Identify roadblocks executives are experiencing within their departments or more general issues hindering the development of the company and discuss possible solutions. This topic should be included in every meeting to ensure that challenges are addressed immediately after they arise and before they become a crisis.
Pro-Tip: It is good practice to identify major challenges before the meeting and circulate them with the agenda as a talking point. This way, meeting participants can spend time thinking and preparing to discuss them before they come into the meeting.
“But problem-solving, however necessary, does not produce results. It prevents damage. Exploiting opportunities produces results.” - Peter F. Drucker
The goal of good leadership team meetings is not only to solve problems but to spot opportunities. This way, the company does not focus only on staying afloat or out of trouble but on making progress.
The key questions to ask here are:
What’s going on in the market?
Are there new opportunities in the market to grow our business?
What are customers interested in?
Is there a demographic we can extend our products and services to?
What are our current priorities?
By incorporating this discussion in your leadership team meetings, meeting participants can cultivate creative thinking skills and extend the culture to their teams.