Bill Campbell Teaches Google Execs How to Run Meetings

“You’re like a dictator dolling out tasks.” (Bill Campbell to Jonathan Rosenberg.)

I was surprised when Jonathan Rosenberg said his coach, Bill Campbell, wasn’t focused on efficiency. He focused on relationship and community.

Successful meetings fuel energy and progress by strengthening relationships and building community.(The reference to Eric in the below interview clip is Eric Schmidt former CEO of Google and Alphabet.)

Bill teaches Jonathan how to do 1:1’s and run staff meetings:

Tips for beginning staff meetings:

Beginnings are the platform for progress. Begin with relationship and community.

  1. Googlers sometimes give trip reports. What happened over the weekend? Trillion Dollar Coach*
  2. Someone tell a story about a win.
  3. Tell a story of a mentor who helped you.
  4. What have you learned from failure?
  5. Select one team member and finish this sentence, “When I see you at your best, I see you ….”

Meeting tip: Don’t let the bitch session last. Move forward with solutions.*

1:1 meeting agenda:

#1. Be personal.

Learn about family, personal goals, or what happened on the weekend.

#2. Provide brag time.

What’s working?

#2. Provide ‘go with’ feedback.

Avoid the temptation to improve on someone’s brag.

#3. Pursue better.

What one thing would you like to do better?

Improvement is opportunity. Don’t allow the pursuit of ‘better’ to feel like punishment.

  1. What are some options for making this better? (Develop three options.)
  2. Connect improvement with purpose. How does improvement align with personal and organizational goals and values?

#4. Agree.

Agree on one action item from the options generated in #3 above.

Click to download Bill’s framework for 1:1’s and evaluations. (It’s not the same as the one listed above.)

How might leaders use meetings to strengthen relationships and build community?

*Jonathan Rosenberg is advisor to the management team of Google’s parent company Alphabet. He ran the Google product team from 2001 to 2011. He’s co-author of, “Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell.

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