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7 Steps to Crafting a Quality Meeting Agenda (Template Included)

7 Steps to Crafting a Quality Meeting Agenda (Template Included)

How to prevent your meeting from going off the rails The purpose of meetings is not to talk – the purpose is to arrive at ideas, solutions, plans, and decisions. Before I discuss meeting agendas, I want you to think long and hard about the next meeting you are organizing. Ask yourself these 3 questions Is this meeting absolutely needing? Is there another way to accomplish the meeting purpose? What will happen if the meeting doesn’t take place? If at all possible, cancel the meeting! We’ve all been in meetings where participants are unprepared, people veer off-track, and the topics discussed are a waste of the team’s time. These problems, and others like it, stem from poor agenda design. An effective agenda helps set you up to run a successful meeting for all participants. Last week, I had the privilege of delivering a webinar to 1000 project managers from around the world. When I asked in a poll “what is your greatest pain point in meetings”, the number one answer by far was “lack of quality agenda and direction”. At the end of the session, several of the audience questions were about creating effective agendas so I have decided to write this post to help you develop and execute an effective agenda for your next meeting. According to a study conducted by Verizon Business, meetings are the #1 time waster in the workplace. They are often unorganized, have no purpose and go off-topic and end with decisions or action items. It’s no mistake that most of these meetings are missing a clear meeting agenda. Creating a concise agenda is the...
Managing Millennials – Help Them Create BFFs at Work (activity included)

Managing Millennials – Help Them Create BFFs at Work (activity included)

Do you have a good friend at work? Chances are if you work in a team environment and enjoy your job, you work with someone you would consider a good friend. It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or extrovert, humans are social animals and having work friends is important to your overall happiness Research by Gallup suggests the development of trusting relationships is a significant emotional compensation for employees in today’s marketplace. Too often, millennials are criticized for blurring the lines between work relationships and personal relationships. Given the always tuned on social media and always in pocket smart phone world that they have grown up in it increases the challenge for them to compartmentalize their relationships… and that’s a good thing. While companies often pay significant attention to satisfaction surveys, including loyalty toward the organization, the best employers recognize that loyalty also exists among employees toward one another. Based on their research, Gallup believes “The best managers in the world observe that the quality and depth of employees’ relationships is a critical component of employee loyalty.” So, how is a manager supposed to go about creating best friends forever (BFF) among their workforce? Certainly, a close friendship can never be formed from a forced experience. Most quality friendships develop organically, as people invest little-premeditated thought in the process. When you think about your close friends today, for most of them, you didn’t set out with a focus on becoming their friend. The good news is there are several things managers can do to help foster significant relationship building without making it feel contrived and forced. One...
More Important Than Goals – (Activity)

More Important Than Goals – (Activity)

“Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you would do long after the mood you said it in has left you” unknown Have you have ever had the same goal month after month, year after year? I know, there are a few that I have. Hit a sales target, achieve a promotion, lose weight, get more sleep, go on an epic vacation, run an ultramarathon etc. Why is this? If it is an important goal, why are you not achieving it? To experience growth and move forward in life your goals need to be evolving. Even if you have the same massive or BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) goal every year, i.e. win the championship, become #1 in your field, etc., your actions need to change because with our evolving world “what got you there this year won’t get you there next year”. In the rare case that you are successful and things to stay the same, there is a good chance you will end up bored, burnt out and not growing as a person. I found myself in this situation the last few years I was leading expeditions. I had been successful with running life impacting adventures and educational expeditions. I had honed a formula over the years that worked well. But this lack of evolving goals in my job eventually led me to complacency and burnout.   Contrary to popular belief, the key to goal achievement is not writing it down or telling someone, although it can help. The key really is taking action. Furthermore, it’s about making a commitment to sacrifice. I am interested in your...
How Are You Treating Your Team?

How Are You Treating Your Team?

(Quick update – After leaving England at the end of July, the Strattons spent the next 5 weeks visiting family and friends throughout Canada and are now set up in Ottawa for the foreseeable future. LiveMore HQ is now up and running and I am back to providing you with regular quality original leadership content here on my blog.) At Work, Are You Leading A Family Or A Sports Team? You often hear people refer to their work teams as a family. Is this what you really want? Have you taken a close look at your family and your feelings about each person?If you are like me, you love everyone in your family unconditionally. Through all the childhood (and adult) fights, your pet peeves with them, your differences, the advice they didn’t take, the advice they didn’t give until it was too late, and the mistakes they have made, and through all the trials and tribulations that life throws at them, I will still love them because…well, they are family. I love them and always will. With family, there is no bottom-line. A competitive sports team, on the other hand, most certainly has a bottom-line. In the past, I have written about the importance for leaders to love their team but not unconditionally. Sure, love them and also do everything in your power to have them performing at a high level to achieve your common goal but hold them to a high level of accountability at the same time. If a player on the sports team repeatedly makes mistakes, doesn’t show up on time, or calls out other players in...

Never Be Too Busy Again

(Note – this is a 2017 summer addition ‘best of the best’ blog from the past.) You’ve heard the expressions “I’m so busy,” “I’m too busy to do that,” or “I just can’t find the time …” I believe that these phrases have caused an epidemic of excuses in our society. It has become a sign of prestige to say how busy you are when someone asks, “How are things?” When was the last time you answered that question with “Things are pretty slow right now” or “Fantastic, I’m spending my time on things most important to me”? The reality is you are never too busy to do anything. You spend our time on what seems to be the most important thing to you right now. Think about the last time you told someone you were too busy to do something. I’m willing to bet you weren’t too busy at all; you just placed a lower priority on the task you were talking about than the one that was filling your time. An honest response would have been, “I’m sorry but that isn’t a high priority for me right now and I have other tasks that are more important to me taking up my time.” That brings us to the priority list. A priority list allows you to rank the importance of the tasks, which fill your time. I love writing these lists (and thinking about them even more) and ranking them so that I always know what I should be doing with my time. You are what you did today. (Tweet That) Sure, you have long-range hopes, dreams,...