A lot of people think that once they have downloaded the Level 10 Meeting Agenda™ that they’re good to go. The agenda certainly helps, but if you want to use the Entrepreneurial Operating System® to its full effect, you need to learn to use the Level 10 Meeting Agenda correctly.
The EOS Toolbox™ metaphor is an apt one. Sure, if you have a toolbox you could, theoretically, fix a car. But, if you don’t know how to use those tools, you’re mostly going to just frustrate yourself. And maybe lose a finger or two.
That’s why I’ve put together a quick 4-part guide on how to use the EOS Level 10 Meeting Agenda to full effect. I’m not going to lie to you. These articles alone aren’t going to be some magic pill that make the L10 Meetings go perfectly. But, take 5 minutes out of your day to read this, and you’ll be on the path to success. In part 3 of this guide we’ll be starting with Headlines and then moving to the To-Do List.
Time: 5 Minutes
Description: Anyone with important news for the company reports that news
Objective: Keep all decision makers abreast of information that may affect their decisions in the future
I’m not going to spend a terribly long time talking about the Headlines. There is, however, one thing that deserves mentioning: what really counts as a headline.
The only real problem that teams tend to run into with the Headlines is not being sure about what does and doesn’t count as a Headline. The truth is that Traction® doesn’t go into a lot of detail about what these are. You are really only given two guidelines:
- A headline is important news about an event in the company.
- A headline is important news about a customer, client, employee, or other important person.
That’s not a lot to go from.
I like to tell clients that if it seems important and doesn’t fall under Rocks, Scorecard, or To-Do’s, it’s probably worth mentioning at this point. Each company is a little bit different. And, while EOS is designed to work in any business, it can’t account for the minutia of that industry or the people in it. The Headlines section is where you get to bring up news that the other sections of the Level 10 Meeting Agenda don’t cover.
The goal here is to ensure that communication is maintained at the top level of the company. We want people to be aware, so they can make informed decisions.
Time: 5 Minutes
Description: Go down last week’s list of to-do’s. Check if each is done or not done.
Objective: Maintain weekly progress towards larger goals. Keep an accountability mindset.
During the to-do list portion of your Level 10 Meeting Agenda you go down the list of last week’s to-do’s. When you call off a to-do, the person responsible for it reports that it is either complete or incomplete. If it’s complete, yay. If not, we capture it as an Issue to discuss later. It’s that simple.
To-do’s are a deceptively simple aspect of accountability.
The to-do list is what gives your team the power to move from talking about Issues to actually solving them. In the section below on the IDS Process™ I’ll talk more about assigning to-do’s. For now, let’s focus on keeping track of to-do’s.
At the end of every Level 10 Meeting your team will have a list of to-do’s. Each item is (hopefully) one that is a) owned by a single person in the room and b) reasonably accomplished within 1 week. A big part of keeping your Traction® and accomplishing the long-term goals of your company is taking those little, weekly steps that move your towards them.
There are 2 fundamental mistakes teams make during the to-do list section of the meeting.
Not Capturing Issues
If you’ve read Part 1 of my Level 10 Meeting Agenda Guide then you’ve already heard me harping on this. If someone isn’t performing to expectation, it’s an Issue.
Doesn’t matter if the problem is Rocks™ Off-Track, Scorecard™ numbers off, or undone to-do’s. When something that was supposed to be accomplished isn’t accomplished, we capture the Issue by writing it on the board.
Remember, that’s not so we can rail on this person later. It’s so we can figure out, as a team, exactly what is going wrong and how we can fix it. 9 times out of 10, the real problem is that the person responsible isn’t getting the resources they need to accomplish what’s being asked of them.
Believe me when I tell you. Complacency is an ugly beast that will reel its head in your Level 10 Meeting time and time again.
To-do’s are one of the most dangerous places for a team. Assign too few to-do’s and the team won’t accomplish as much as they can. Assign too many to-do’s and you’ll have a team that gets way too comfortable with incomplete to-do’s.
Don’t get me wrong. No team is able to complete 100% of their to-do’s 100% of the time. But, if you aren’t completing 80% of your to-do’s 80% of the time, you’re over assigning to-do’s or simply not holding people accountable.
When a to-do gets reported as incomplete, make sure you don’t leave the room until the reason has been discovered and you’ve ensured it will be done next week.
If you’re just getting started with EOS or want to brush up on some of the things mentioned in this article, these articles should be of help to you.
- Are You Pushing Your EOS Level 10 Meeting Down The Ladder?
- How To Rate An EOS Level 10 Meeting
- ABC’s of EOS: Level 10 Meeting Not Helping? Here’s Why.
- How To Use An EOS Meeting Pulse – Answered By A Certified EOS Implementer
- The Traction Book Isn’t Working: 3 Mistakes People Make Self-Implementing EOS
- Want Better Leadership Team Meetings? Learn to Solve Your Issues
Meet the Founder
Jeff Whittle founded and launched Whittle & Partners in 2011. Before that, Jeff practiced law in Dallas for 15 years and has an additional 20 years of executive business experience. He has run businesses ranging from startups to 300-employee operations.