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An Incredible Meeting Agenda Any Leader Can Use

Lousy meetings are the rule – vibrant meetings the exception.

In an ideal world, meeting-agendas arrive the day before the meeting. But you don’t live in an ideal world.

Spontaneous agendas result in meetings that suck the life out of teams.

3 reasons meetings matter:

Organizational life improves when meetings improve.

#1. Meetings are culture building activities. Let me attend five meetings in your organization and I’ll tell you what it’s like to work in your organization.

#2. Positive energy takes you further than negative.

#3. Meetings are expensive.

Meeting cost formula: Salaries in the room + Lost Opportunities + Lost Productivity + Friction of low energy = The real cost of lousy meetings. (S+LO+LP=FoLE = RCoLM)

An agenda you can use:

Meeting goals:

  1. Connect.
  2. Choose an opportunity.
  3. Choose a challenge/problem.
  4. Improve.

Item one: Strengthen connection.

Ask three or four people to complete the following sentence for one person at the table.

Example – “Mary, when I see you at your best, I see you ….”


  1. Be specific.
  2. Look at Mary when you speak. (Essential)
  3. Use Mary’s name.

Item two: Identify and choose one opportunity to pursue, assuming you understand mission and vision.

Discuss potential opportunities in small groups of two or three. (5 min.)

  1. Debrief and list opportunities on the whiteboard.
  2. Everyone votes for the opportunities they would most like to pursue. Everyone has three votes that must be used on three separate items.
  3. Assign a small team to explore the opportunity and come to the next meeting with recommendations.

Item three: Identify and choose one problem/challenge to address. (Same process as item #2.)

Item four: What agenda items might you suggest for our next meeting? (Don’t commit to any agenda items. Simply ask for suggestions.)

Item five: Improve.

  1. What worked in this meeting?
  2. What could we do better in our next meeting?

Item six: Schedule next meeting. Adjourn.

What items would you add to this agenda?

How might you modify the above agenda items?

Download: Meeting Agenda



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