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31 Days to Becoming a Better Leader


Day #22: Flash Meetings

 The longer the meeting, the less is accomplished.  –Tim Cook Leadership Team

Flash meetings are a methodology that I didn’t invent, like most of the stuff I teach, and is likely not a common enough practice for many people to be aware of either.

A flash meeting is like the name implies – it’s short and, hopefully, over in a flash. Many times, the meeting is conducted with everyone standing. People are less prone to wasting time when standing.

The purposes for the flash meeting methodology are the following:

  • For you as leader to stay apprised as to what’s happening at all times;
  • For the different group members, company leaders, committee chairs, etc., to stay connected with others in the organization to maximize effectiveness;
  • To expand a shared responsibility in the culture;
  • To set a pattern for regular communications;
  • For you as leader to have a chance to connect any variances in performance before they get too far out of control;
  • To manage expectations, lowering the potential for unnecessary conflict;
  • To lighten the workload for each team member by realizing others bring value to the work of every other team member;
  • To build relationships within the team.

Here’s the basic pattern for a regular (I suggest weekly) flash meeting:

  • Start promptly at the time scheduled (don’t wait for latecomers to arrive);
  • Have a visual posting for proceeding with the set of deliverables scheduled for review;
  • Set the reporting order and move directly through that order;
  • Ask each person to stick to reporting and not providing lots of data or discussing minor details, unless those details add value to the report;
  • Each person acknowledges the completion of the previous set of deliverables, or asks for assistance in solving problems that prevented the completion of those deliverables, and then shares the deliverables for the next meeting;
  • Share what’s needed from others on the team and ask what others need;
  • Rotate through the entire group with the same reporting pattern;
  • Once the reports are complete, set individual meetings between group members or yourself and others to manage details or to mentor. Don’t provide harsh or major corrections in the group; save that for individual conversations.

Flash Meetings:

  • Keep them short and frequent – daily or weekly, if there’s enough to accomplish.
  • Have a visual with deliverables posted and to record new deliverables.
  • Lead the meeting by letting team members report.
  • Let the accountability for results reside with the group members; if that isn’t effective, then meet individually with people not performing up to exceptions.
  • Keep the work focused on the organization’s goals and monthly milestones.
  • Enjoy the relationships and celebrate success whenever appropriate.

Meetings are focused on outcomes, build relationships, create team energy, and build the influence of the leader.

Next: Day #23 – Avoiding Micromanaging: Coaching and Mentoring

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