Are your Senior Leadership Team meetings focused on the right things?
If you’re going to be effective, every meeting of your SLT should focus on three key things:
- PAST: What’s happened recently?
- PRESENT: What’s happening now?
- FUTURE: Where are we going in the future?
The first two are execution discussions:
What’s Happened Recently? (Could be as recent as the past weekend worship services, past events, past series, etc.)
- Spend a short amount of time evaluating how we did, what worked, what didn’t work, what was missing, what do we need to add? What are the action items coming out of that?
- As a lead team, how did we do at empowering and giving away responsibility? (Accountability and praise)
What’s Happening Now?
- Looking at metrics: How are we doing? How did we do this week, last week, and how does it compare to a year ago?
- Check-in with our upcoming weekend and projects… Are we aligned and getting stuff done?
Beyond just focusing on execution, though, one of the key roles of the leadership team is keeping our eyes up, staying out of the weeds, and looking at where it is we’re going…
That’s why the last one is a strategic discussion:
Where Are We Going in the Future?
- Making sure we’re on mission and moving towards fulfilling our vision
- Anticipating future staffing and structure changes/needs
- Evaluating our growth engines and determining what we need to stop/start
If we’re not staying out in front of our teams and thinking ahead, it’s hard to lead a team. And if we’re not looking ahead to the future, no one else will.
The “Where Are We Going in the Future?” area is the one Senior Leadership Teams neglect the most. In reality, the SLT should spend the vast majority of it’s time on these future-oriented topics.
You can’t lead your teams appropriately if you don’t give yourself space to focus on the strategic. If we don’t make time to do this, we’ll just be living Sunday to Sunday.
Here’s a simple exercise you can use to make sure your time and energy as a senior leadership team is focused where it needs to be:
- Gather your meeting notes or agendas from your last several meetings.
- Identify each topic that was discussed as past, present, or future.
- Evaluate if your leadership team is being effective and focusing the majority of your time together on the future.
Then, as a team, begin to reflect on your recent meetings using these self-assessment questions:
- Was there healthy conflict around future next steps?
- Did we drift toward execution and tactical decisions that could have been handled outside our meeting?
- Was there any hint of ministry silos? Are we one team pulling in the same direction?
- Is decision-making being pushed outside the senior leadership team?
- Did action items get communicated clearly and in a timely manner?
- Did we do what we agreed together we would do?