As the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors learned this year, players win games. Teams win championships. And as an entrepreneur (or “star player”), you can only carry your business so far alone. Eventually, you have to offer your team the opportunity to step-up and—in many cases—do things better than you can. But how?
My business coach, Bedros Keuilian, offered this advice: If you want your employees to reach their full potential, you need to guide them. Your focus as a leader should be threefold: setting high expectations, clarifying brand vision, and installing structure and discipline. Watch Bedros’ video here:
Communicating these expectations is often a challenge. But while leadership can share vision and goals with employees in any number of ways, there’s one very effective, sure-fire method for increasing productivity and ensuring company growth while aligning mission and metrics: the meeting.
I know what you’re thinking. Too many companies—especially big or fast-growing companies—mess up their meetings. According to online meeting site atlassian.com, the average employee attends over 61 meetings per month. However, 73% of people do unrelated work in meetings while 39% actually admit to sleeping during meetings. Most importantly, almost half of employees think meetings are the biggest waste of time.
Common meeting complaints are endless—ill-prepared leaders, late start and end times, the lack of an agenda, and the absence of results. It’s no wonder that both employees and business owners have come to dread meetings.
But there’s a solution, and it comes from my business partner, friend, and mentor, Matt Smith. In Chapter 18 of my book, “The Perfect Day Formula,” Matt explains the five steps for a creating a perfect meeting:
1. Limit the meeting to the right people
2. Have a very clear leader
4. Have a measurable outcome (M/O)
5. End with a plan and give people specific assignments
Matt even took this guidance a step further, offering a strategic meeting “rhythm” he has used to guide companies to double-digit growth. It’s called the GS&R (Goal, Set, and Review).
Principles of the GS&R Meeting
The GS&R is the key to taking a business with potential but not organization to the next level. It’s a meeting approach for growing businesses, like yours, that need structure and systems to continue to grow effectively and efficiently.
Here’s how it works: As a leader, you’ll set aside time every week (preferably the same time on the same day, ideally every Monday) to meet with your direct reports for about 30 minutes.
Start each meeting with casual conversation about the weekend.
This is where you can get a read on whether or not something in their home life is bothering them. Most so-called leaders neglect the impact of home life on work performance. But just as a bad day at the office can ruin someone’s night, so, too, can a bad night at home ruin a potentially great day in the office.
After exchanging pleasantries and showing a sincere concern for the employee’s well-being and personal relationships, you can move on to company business.
Start with a review of last week’s goals. Did the employee complete the two to three major goals chosen during last week’s meeting? If yes, what were some victories to celebrate? If not, why not? What were the obstacles? Where can the team member get help? What can they do to avoid missing their goals this week? (Note: As a good leader, you’ll also check in with each team member daily to see how they’re progressing.)
If you want your employees to reach their full potential, you need to guide them. Your focus as a leader should be threefold: setting high expectations, clarifying brand vision, and installing structure and discipline.
After the goal review, you can move on to setting new goals for the upcoming week.
Again, help the team member outline all of the obstacles that might come up. Ask them who they need (inside and outside the company) to help them achieve these goals. Be willing to raise the bar and help them set higher performance standards. Or, in rare cases, help them set more realistic goals if they are trying to do the impossible.
As you can see, your role as a leader is not to take the ball down the court and drive to the basket every time. In fact, as a true leader, you are not even on the court at all. You are the coach, leveraging the performance of multiple or even dozens of superstars. When these superstars are performing at their best, you and your team can achieve so much more than you ever could on your own.
“Before implementing the GS&R, I felt lost,” admits Nate Ginsburg, a jet-setting young CEO whose company has increased their sales ten-fold in 2017 alone. “I was grinding out project work all by myself. Our team was struggling to get new products out to market. We had a lot of ideas, but we were scattered, and we didn’t have the proper accountability or structure to support scale. That’s when I decided to implement the weekly GS&R meeting to get us on track. This allowed us to quickly troubleshoot problems, grow our marketing skills faster, and improve team member accountability.”
The results were staggering for Ginsburg and his team, and stretched beyond the day-to-day. “The GS&R meeting also makes your team more productive,” Ginsburg adds, “and allows your business to scale smoothly as you add more people. This frees up your time to focus on the big strategic movements and vision for your company.”
When you are just starting out, you might be doing everything on your own, but eventually, things will go from simple to very complex in a hurry. As a leader of powerful superstars, make sure you set clear expectations, vision, and mission for the company, then leverage the GS&R to ensure your company growth becomes a reality.
SUGGESTED READING: 5 Tips for Running Productive and Profitable Meetings