How to Maximize Your Meetings
How to Maximize Your Meetings
Hello! My name is Katie, and I am the Chief of Staff at Elevate Experiences. Over the past year, I have had the privilege of working alongside Billy on his personal brand and man, it has been an amazing experience. When I first met Billy years ago, I knew his perspective on leadership was unique. He has always approached life with an energy and passion most people only hope to have one day. He integrates music and innovation into conversations, drawing leadership lessons from the most unlikely sources. It came as no surprise in 2017 when Billy decided to create his own content and personal brand, I was the first person that volunteered to join in. Now over a year later, as his Brand Manager, I am learning daily how to take his unique voice and leverage it in a way that empowers people to be themselves and become more of the leader they want to be.
I could spend this time sharing everything we’ve learned about producing content (that will be another blog), but instead, I’ll share tips on the most important part of this process: how to structure our brand meetings. Brand meetings for us are weekly gatherings with our brand team (Billy, myself and 2-3 others) where we come together to talk priorities, ideas and content. These meetings have taken various forms over the past year, and I wanted to take a few minutes to share some mistakes we’ve made and the successes we’ve had. I didn’t realize meeting structure would be the toughest part of this process, but it has been. If you are creating your own brand or gathering people together on a new project, I hope these tips help you on your journey.
Put the time on the calendar and honor it.
When our brand team started, we didn’t set aside dedicated weekly time to meet. I think we were planning to organically come together whenever we were all free. It turns out when something doesn’t make it to the calendar, you don’t create the momentum you want. After a few weeks of realizing we weren’t prioritizing time to meet, we decided on a weekly day and time we would come together. If something else came up on the calendar, we’d move our time (not cancel it). We found a weekly time held us more accountable for getting tasks done and coming ready to share updates. The weeks we have the most content and ideas produced occur on the weeks we meet more often. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Prepare before the meeting begins.
Before the meeting begins, each person writes the topics they want to address on the board under their name. This practice helps us make sure we get to each person and don’t run out of time before the meeting is over. We also make sure someone is taking notes digitally and organizing them in a place everyone can access (Google Drive is our go-to). We make sure the TV is on if we are displaying anything on the screen to share and everyone has their laptop, chargers and any other physical items needed. We don’t want to pause the meeting for something we could have had before we started.
Decide the format of your meeting.
What order of topics will you address in your meeting? We used to think when we sat down to meet, topics would organically surface but we found ourselves brainstorming the majority of the time instead of looking at deadlines, action steps and things we were going to execute. We would leave meetings excited about ideas, but with no real direction of what we decided and what each person needed to get done before the next meeting. The phrase, “So wait, what did we decide to do for that?” surfaced quite often. There’s a time for brainstorming and a time for executing, so being intentional about which one you are doing is important.
We’ve gone through several different meeting formats over the past year (and even the past month), but here is what we currently do when we meet:
-Updates from each person (questions, ideas, updates for each topic that person is responsible for).
-Review content we posted last week and content we’re posting this week (blogs, vlogs, podcasts, social media posts).
-Review our goals for the quarter and how close we are to reaching them.
-Circle back to any ideas we paused during update time in the beginning.
-Summarize action steps for each person and plan one-on-one work sessions that need to be scheduled for pairs of people to work on a project together.
I have to admit – we don’t get to all of these items every time we meet, but at least we have a guide for how we’ll use our time.
Although our brand meetings are an important time, what happens between each meeting is even more important. We hold each other accountable to our action steps and follow-up on any individual conversations that need to happen. We try to stay laser-focused on what we need to do and don’t use the excuse “I didn’t know I was responsible for that.” During the week between meetings, we punch ambiguity in the face (a phrase that’s pretty common for our brand team) because we know that misunderstanding or lack of clarity can be the biggest roadblock if we let it be.
Even though we’ve learned a lot over the past year, we still have a long way to go. I’ve enjoyed being involved in this process and am excited to see the impact of Billy’s brand over time. His brand was never created to make his name great. It has and always will be about inspiring others to find greatness in their own lives. If this blog has helped you make even one small tweak towards more effectiveness in your own life, then our work is worth it.
Thank you for following along, and let us know how we can empower you in your journey.
Team Billy B Brand Manager
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