When you wade into the waters of executive meetings, there are all sorts of choppy waves that can throw you off course. Just to name a few — there's a limited window of time to cover pressing topics from every corner of the business and the agenda is jam-packed. When wrestling with thorny challenges, heated debates can quickly derail the conversation without a resolution. Annual plans are crafted with care, but without rigorous focus, the business can lose steam.
“Executive meetings take up a big chunk of time and energy for everyone in the room. The last thing you need in the midst of all the other challenges of running and growing a business is for that meeting to become a bad recurring experience,” says Anne Raimondi, COO of Asana.
Whether you're a first-time CEO or a seasoned startup exec, executive meetings are tricky to get right. To more clearly sketch out the do's and don'ts, we’ve spent the last few weeks reaching out to some of the sharpest startup leaders we know for their best piece of advice for running executive meetings.
The responses we got back were top-notch, with a fountain of advice that breaks the mold from a group of leaders hailing from top startups like Superhuman, Lattice and Codecademy.
If you’re a first-time founder who’s never sat in the CEO’s chair before, there are tons of tactical suggestions for sidestepping common executive meeting potholes — from questions to ask yourself as you’re first designing the meeting, specific frameworks for deciding what makes it on the agenda, to tips for sharing the findings across the entire org. Even if you’re a seasoned exec who’s been sitting in these types of meetings for years, it’s a read that will hopefully spark some new ideas to bring to your peer group.
We hope the below list provides a detailed guide for constructing your own inspiring, effective executive meetings. Thanks, as always, for reading and sharing!
-The Review editors