Momentum Podcast: 825
Meetings are a Must
by Alex Charfen
If you are an entrepreneur that hates meetings, I feel you. I've been there.
Early in my career, I avoided any meetings with my team. I felt like they were a waste of time and unproductive, and I could always be doing something more important.
It wasn't until I figured out how to make meetings productive, effective, and exciting that my business grew as fast as possible.
Once I had a system to make my meetings effective, I realized that my company wasn't growing because I wasn't meeting with my team and setting clear expectations.
Let me share with you how to make your meetings productive and exciting so that you and your team can achieve everything you want.
Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast. I talked to a lot of entrepreneurs on a weekly basis. I'm the type of person who actually loves to spend time around entrepreneurs, and I do whatever I can to spend most of my time around entrepreneurs. I live here in Austin, which is an incredible entrepreneurial community. So most every party I go to, I go to a time that I spend with other people is almost always surrounded by or has a very high percentage of entrepreneurs in business. And when I'm talking to entrepreneurs, I often ask them about their teams. And one of the things that I hear over and over again is I want to grow a team, I want to have a successful business. I just don't want to be in any meetings. Well, I have a contrary opinion of this, clearly doing what I do, and I want to share it with you today, because I think this may be the key to so many entrepreneurs actually having the business and the life that they want. I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast made for Empire Builders Game Changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Should we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will? We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority. The few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution. And we always will be. So like I shared in the intro, I spend a lot of time around entrepreneurs and in the past couple weeks I can remember at least three conversations where entrepreneurs were having some challenges. In one of the businesses, the business is consistently losing money. And right now, with the economic climate that we have, you do not want to have a business where you're losing money. And one of the other conversations, the entrepreneur was doing everything like literally, I'm still doing all of the tactics in the business, completely overwhelmed, working 12 hour days and feeling like they wanted the business to stop growing, which, you know, I always tell businesses you're either growing or you're slowly going away. So if you do not have a plan for growth, you need to put a plan for growth in place. And if growing creates pain, then you have to understand how to get yourself out of pain. And in the third business that I can remember talking to you, the entrepreneur is just exasperated that they have been consistently missing outcomes, missing deadlines, missing the growth that they actually want. And I talked a little bit about training to perform. Not a little bit. I actually talked in-depth about creating a performance culture in my last podcast, number 824. But this podcast is actually about meetings and in my estimation running businesses and in my opinion of running businesses and helping tons of entrepreneurs run their businesses. Meetings are an absolute must in all three scenarios where they entrepreneur entrepreneurs losing money, doing everything or not having their outcomes. Each of them shared with me when I asked, So how often are you meeting with your team and what system are you using? What structure are you using to meet with your team? All three of them said something like, Oh, I just can't SEO meetings or I try to meet with my team as little as possible, or I meet with them once a month, or I have a virtual huddle through Slack or through Voser. And whenever I hear an answer like that where entrepreneurs are actively, not actively trying to stay out of meetings with their team, the symptoms are usually losing money, the entrepreneur is overwhelmed and the team is not hitting their outcomes. Why? Because they're not hearing from you. If you look at being an entrepreneur in a business, you are the head coach of that business. Now you might have somebody who helps you operate that business. That's like an assistant coach, but you're the head coach of the business. And I can't imagine a coach applying for a team and applying for a job at a professional sports team and telling the ownership, Hey, I'm going to be an incredible coach for this team. I just don't want to have to ever talk to the players. It's actually laughable when I say that, but when entrepreneurs tell me they don't want to meet with their team, but they want to grow their business, they don't laugh. It's actually something that they they think that they can do, that they almost have the expectation that they can do. And I understand I want you to know, I understand so intimately why we don't want to have meetings with their team, with our teams. When I was in my twenties, I grew a pretty large organization, an international consultancy, where we had offices in Florida and Latin America and other parts of United States. I had a team of about 50 people at its height. We were responsible for over $250 million in sales for other companies. And. I did not like meeting with my team. And here's why this I think it's the same for most entrepreneurs, number one. I didn't really trust meetings with my team because they overwhelmed me. I had a hard time with meetings. I didn't really know what to do in the meetings. I got to the point feeling like meetings didn't really work because I would have meetings with my team and then we wouldn't hit the outcomes or things would still come up. So I would blame the meeting and say, Well, I don't need to do that. I can text people. While back then there wasn't text. That's how old I am. Back then it was I can email people or all the hacks then. Now I'm really aging myself off, fax them and let them know what they need to do. And I started to feel like meetings were a waste of time. And it took me a long time to come around on this. In fact, when I did the business that I had grew exponentially, it just exploded because I started realizing just how important it was that I was present for my team. I started realizing just how important it was that I actually met with my team and I started seeing that if I didn't meet with my team, they didn't know where we were going. They didn't understand my expectations and my expectations were going to be missed. I share with people as often as I can. Unclear expectations are almost never met. So if you haven't clarified expectations with your team, if you're not having meetings with your team, if they don't understand what you really want, chances are you're going to be frustrated because they're not going to hit the outcomes that you want. And so this is how you solve this. Number one, have meetings within some type of a process or system. We teach the simple operations system, which is a among other things, a cadence of meetings that allows everyone to understand exactly why you're meeting with them, so that there's a clear outcome for each meeting and they understand what they need to do at the end of that meeting. The second thing that you can do so that you stop hating meetings is stop being the person who's driving the meetings. Managing a meeting is actually a tactical activity, being strategic in the meeting, having strategic input, asking the right questions. That is a strategic outcome in a meeting. And so have an operator or the person who's running the department run meetings and you attend as an advisor, as somebody who's asking questions, as a as a coach, who's making sure that everything is going in the direction you want. And if you don't yet create a process where you understand exactly what each meeting's for and everyone on the team understands what it's for, that way they show up. Prepared meetings aren't a waste of time. You don't spend the first 10 minutes getting everybody on the same page, and they understand exactly why they're in the room. And here's what will happen if you communicate within a cadence or a process we call ours is simple operation system. If you don't drive meetings, but you're there to coach and support and ask the right questions. And if each meeting has a predetermined outcome before you go in so everyone's prepared and they understand what to do, here's what will happen. I know because it's happened to me. I know because I've watched it happen with hundreds of entrepreneurs. You will actually start to love meetings. You'll actually start to understand that meetings are a must, that they are crucial to growing your business. And when you have meetings where it's part of a system, everyone understands a role. There's a clear outcome going in. Meetings are actually productive. They're exciting. You can see that your team is going to get things done. And if you have enough of these meetings, what happens is you have a meeting, you see the achievement, and then you're excited to get back and do another meeting so that you can achieve again as a company. In the absence of these things, I think all of us would avoid meetings. Believe me, I empathize with the hating of meetings. I empathize with the trying to stay out of meetings. And, you know, I used to be a consultant and we worked with Fortune 500 companies. And I can't tell you how often I would walk into a meeting where there was sometimes, you know, five or six people, but sometimes there was 20, 25 people. They'd all file in and sit down at a conference table. And I would hear people leaning over to each other and asking questions like, Hey, what are we doing here? Do you understand what this is for? And I would think what a colossal waste of time, not just for the people involved, but for the entire company. It's a waste of time. It's a waste of money. It's a waste of of effort and energy and focus for the entire team. It slows everything down. And if that's the type of meetings that you're having in your company where people don't know what it's for, where it's not part of a process, where there isn't really a clear outcome, where you're driving every one of the meetings and trying to get everybody excited and like doing it through force of personality, not through a system. I totally understand just how horrible and how challenging those meetings can be. But when you put these these elements in place, when you have a system through which your meetings are being held and everyone knows what to expect when you're not driving and someone else is driving, and you can show up and coach and you can show up and contribute and you can show up and see the achievement that's going to happen and get excited about it. And when everyone knows the outcome before you start, so everyone's prepared and it's effective and it's efficient and it's shorter because you don't have to get everybody on board in the beginning. You will start to see your company grow and you will also start to see just how much being in a meeting is part of achievement with a team, just like a coach meeting with their team. You are the head coach, meeting with your team and making sure that they're moving in the right direction and they're achieving what they want and what you want them to achieve. If you're ready to start achieving more in your business, we would love to help you. You can navigate to simple operations dot com and sign up for a call with my team and let us show you how we've helped country that how we'd help companies around the world put the right process and structure in place so that meetings are effective and efficient. And on a global level, the company you start growing, you make a bigger impact, you make more income, you start really having the business you want and you grow a real company where you don't have to do everything yourself and you can see the change that you're making in the world. Go to simple operations dot com. Sign up for a call with our team. We'd love to talk to you and thanks for listening to this podcast. And if you're in that place where you can't stand meetings, let us help you start having meetings that are so exciting that you can predict just how much is going to come out of each one of them that you can see your team get together and start planning the outcomes you want and you can start to see real results in your business where you grow and you make the impact and the income you want. Go to simple operations. Com. We love to connect with you.