Dial Your Meetings UP to 10

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How many of you have sat through meeting after meeting discussing the same issues that never get resolved? I have heard this lament from coaching clients for years now. The newest catchphrase in running productive meetings is Level 10 meetings. The phrase comes from the hot business book “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business” by Gino Wickman. This book provides a feast of ideas for running a business and can be applied to running a division or a department. 

The book lays out a powerful and practical system called EOS – Entrepreneurial Operating System – for running an organization including visioning tools, getting the right people in the right seats on the team, creating scoreboards to track data and solving issues.

In the chapter on issues, the author writes, “Problems are like mushrooms: When it’s dark and rainy, they multiply. Under bright light, they diminish.” He acknowledged that it is human nature to put off making a hard decision, yet our ability to succeed is in direct proportion to us solving the problems that crop up or linger. Issues can weigh us down and drain our energy. Clients report dreading certain meetings and feeling tired afterward because nothing gets accomplished other than rehashing the same issue.

Of course, the key to being able to openly discuss and solve issues is the foundational piece of creating a culture of trust and accountability. This also aligns with the foundation of Patrick Lencioni’s model “The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team.”

The Level 10 meeting is a timed agenda with set agenda items. It is 90 minutes long with 60 of
those minutes devoted to discussing and solving the most pressing issues from the prior developed issues list. There is pre-work required so that the time together is efficient and yields results. The author suggested the leadership team gather weekly for this type of meeting.

Several companies in the Lansing region are using EOS to transform their business or departments. I would encourage anyone in a leadership role to read “Traction” and shift current so-so meetings to Level 10 meetings. Imagine what the region could be if we were all humming at this high level of productivity.


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Susan Combs

Susan Combs, MBA and Professional Certified Coach, works with coaching clients to create fresh starts, enhance their leadership skills and increase their confidence. She is an authorized licensee of the Fit Leader's Program. Susan provides one-on-one coaching, DiSC team-building training and manages corporate mentor programs. She lives in Lansing with her son, Max, and their golden retriever puppy. Visit SusanCombsCoaching.com or MentorRoadmap.com for more information.

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