Unlocking Team Success: The Imperative of a Leader’s Commitment to Meetings
In my years working with leaders, a recurring theme has emerged: meetings are seen as both a blessing and a curse. When done well, meetings can drive results. When done poorly, they can bring entire organizations to a halt. The key differentiator between these two outcomes? The leader’s approach.
The Heart of Leadership: Commitment to Their People
The number one job of a leader is to make time and be present for their people. Even though it is evident, leadership must be committed to participating and engaging in the established meeting rhythms for organization and team effectiveness. Commitment differs from a decision. We can decide to have meetings but not be committed. Commitment is the higher standard of dedication to meetings because it will improve communication, teamwork, and decision-making.
Meetings are not about you; they are about the organization and the team. Frequently missed meetings send a message that you care most about yourself and are not committed to being a vital team member.
The Power of Precedent – The Secret Sauce of Effective Teams
Let me share a story: Rachel, a senior executive, prided herself on her team’s agility. However, she frequently shifted meeting times, causing havoc in her team’s schedules. Over time, this inconsistency led to missed targets and a frustrated team.
Consistency of active participation from individual team members is critical. When consistency drops, so does priority focus, agility, and timeliness of decisions. Missing meetings unconsciously causes silos and reduces the effectiveness of the organization.
Top leadership has a higher burden to set the right example. Their actions set precedents and can often be the deciding influence between adoption, engagement, and success; or resistance, withdrawal, and disappointing results – the rest of the team takes their direction from them. Leadership must always be mindful to avoid the Do as I Say, Not as I DO trap.
When leaders aren’t consistent in their approach to meetings, focus wanes, agility diminishes, and the timeliness of decisions suffers. As silos build, the organization loses momentum.
Reframing the Meeting Narrative
Yes, there might be too many meetings. But the real issue? Too many bad meetings. Instead of eliminating meetings, focus on improving them. Engage the right stakeholders. Set clear agendas. And ensure each meeting serves its purpose.
Actionable Steps for Leaders:
(1) Evaluate Your Commitment: Reflect on your meeting attendance and engagement. Are you truly committed?
(2) Prioritize Consistency: Stick to scheduled meetings. Reschedule only when absolutely necessary.
(3) Set the Tone: Remember, your team is watching. Model the behavior you want to see.
(4) Seek Feedback: Regularly ask for input on meeting effectiveness and be open to making changes.
Conclusion: Your Call to Action to Unlock Team Success
Your team’s success rests heavily on your shoulders. But remember, you don’t carry that burden alone. Your team can and will thrive with a committed and consistent approach to meetings. It’s time to recommit, be present, and unlock your team’s true potential.
Activate your leadership potential and make every meeting count. The success of your organization depends on it.
About the Author: Howard M. Shore, CEO of Activate Group, Inc., is an acclaimed leadership coach and author of “The Leader Launchpad.” With decades of experience in guiding leaders and organizations to success, Howard specializes in unlocking the full potential of businesses by driving actionable strategies and fostering effective leadership practices.