Words by Laura Quick
Just as the pandemic had us taking to our individual home offices—which for many of us meant kitchen tables or coffee tables—our office implemented two meetings per week. Attendance was ALWAYS required unless they were dead or on vacation. Dramatic? Maybe. But keeping a team together when we were all navigating the unknown of a pandemic—and on some level worrying about making it as a company—well, it felt like the right requirement. More than two years later, we are still having two meetings per week—both still with required attendance (unless of course you are dead or on vacation).
The kick off meeting always happens on Monday morning. The purpose of this meeting is strategy—we are diving into what we finished lined last week, and what is on deck for this week. It ranges from 60-90 minutes, but normally runs just around one hour. Our internal traffic manager runs this meeting, and we prioritize based on biggest projects due that week.
On Fridays though, things look different. We have a morning meeting that is just about checking in. Typically we watch a TED Talk during the week, and we discuss what we learned from it or how it challenged us—but then each teammate checks in. The epiphany I had during the pandemic was what my team REALLY needed from me: consistency. As an entrepreneur who has had to grow and earn the title CEO, consistency is not natural.
I have made it a habit over the last several years to hire incredible humans that are all leaders. I know how rare it is to have a team full of people who are self-motivated, solution-oriented, make-it-happen humans. I know it’s rare because I’ve worked on many teams where that wasn’t the case. Truly, I think this exact team has grown into those characteristics because they feel so supported. Interdependent, and yet autonomous.
Launching two meetings each week is something I think we will do forever. And listen—I’m the CEO that HATES meetings about meetings, or meetings that totally could have been a text—but these meetings are purposeful and create incredible momentum and impact. Today I wanted to focus on our Friday meeting, which is all about CULTURE. And if you are a leader, you already know this—culture is in the top three currencies your employees or future employees are using to measure whether they want to work with you or continue working for you. As leaders who are leading other leaders who are leading teams of people vital to our organization, we need to be fluent in what creates a culture worth staying in for the long haul.
Here are the two most powerful culture building questions leaders can ask their teams:
1. What did you/your team accomplish that is worth celebrating?
Encouraging our teams to see even the smallest victories is so important. If we don’t count the small wins, we could end up missing the really big ones too. By asking this question consistently, your employees will know it’s coming—and they will want to have something to share WORTH celebrating. I love this question because it forces all of us to focus on what went well, what problems we actually solved, and how even a small thing moved the needle. When we focus on these positive wins, we are reenforcing a culture of not just seeing it in yourself or your team, but in one another.
As a CEO, it is incredible insight hearing how my leadership team spent their week by how they articulate their wins.
2. Who on our team is your hero this week, and why?
Who is the Most Valuable Player to you and why? I cannot tell you how this has enriched our company culture. They know this question is coming every week, and it never gets old. Because it is NORMAL in our company to brag on a teammate for kicking butt, pitching in, hitting tight deadlines, and a myriad of other things. When your team becomes accustomed to finding the gold in the people they work with and calling it out, MAGIC HAPPENS.
I can’t give you a real statistic on what percentage of change you will have if you consistently, weekly, ask these two powerful questions, but I promise it’s significant.
The hardest part will be making space for a meeting dedicated just to connection. The second hardest part will be YOU, the leader, showing up, leading the charge, and participating. Challenge yourself to try it for a month, and then email me and let me know how it goes! I would love to hear from you!