setting the hook

The meeting kick-off reveals the urgency level in the team for winning.

Matt is a big-hearted CEO, leading a service company. One thing Matt does that separates him from many other CEOs is that he really cares about the frame of the meeting–setting the hook–at the start of the meeting. When the leader shares from the heart right at the start of the meeting they set the tone by being the first one to be vulnerable and showing how much they care.

You might hear Matt, for example, say something like, “Okay team. The next 90 minutes the entire company is depending on us to make the best decisions we can to help us all during this incredibly difficult time. Now is not the time to hold back. Let’s put our phones and screens down. We know we have a lot of challenges in marketing to discuss. This isn’t the time to dance around the issues. We are all here to support Dan’s leadership of the marketing team. Before we jump in, let’s make sure we get all the other important issues on the table. Our company matters. Our customers and our people are relying on us. Michelle, why don’t you kick of the lightning round.”

Most meetings start by looking at an agenda or some other kind of soft start. Often I see confusion right away. Confusion about why certain topics are being prioritized for that meeting, who is taking notes, or where everyone is. The meeting starts with a feeling of obligation and questions that go half-answered. It is like we are fumbling the ball as soon as the game starts.

Meeting time is game time. The kick off is telling to the mindset of a team in the game. You want to see intention, urgency, great execution and strategy right away. You get to determine how your team should care. The meeting kick-off says everything to me about how much you and your team have your heads in the game and want to win.

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