The EOS system employs the use of weekly meetings, which they call “The EOS Level 10 Meeting” (a.k.a. “L10”). These weekly check-in meetings are the most valuable thing business owners can do to push their business forward.
Why Meet Once Per Week?
The magic behind a weekly, accountability meeting is:
- It forces leadership to define strategy on a weekly basis and hold their organization accountable to that strategy.
- People are humans, and most of the important stuff gets done in the hour before this accountability meeting happens. Here’s what “productivity” typically looks like:
Here’s the default EOS Level 10 Meeting template:
One Problem: The Default EOS Level 10 Template above is best for established companies with a track record of consistent success. Most of us aren’t there yet, so here’s the L10 template I use for most small businesses.
I’ve learned from both subjecting The Mighty Mo! to the EOS program and helping startups like AntiqueJewelry.com and others implement EOS, that the default EOS Level 10 Template is not a great fit for micro-businesses, startups, solopreneurs, contractors, and freelancers.
Instead, in the past, I’ve used this Freelancer Level 10 Meeting Template I created that solves the big problems with the L10 meetings for very nimble businesses:
Until a business has stable, recurring revenue, it can’t plan out more than a week or so. Startups I’ve worked with have benefitted greatly from EOS meeting templates, but we’ve had to continually tweak them to serve the business in the moment.
You’ll notice that we’ve done away with the Rocks, Customer Headlines, & Scorecard Review completely and replaced them with “Wins” and “Important Everytime Questions”. Rocks and Scorecards are for established businesses with consistent stuff happening (the opposite of a startup).
We use the “Important Everytime Questions” to frame up the Issues list (i.e. If it doesn’t address one of those important questions, then it’s probably not an issue worth considering right now…)
1-on-1 Weekly Pulse Meetings Are Different
I’ve discovered through trial and error at different companies (including my own) that 1-on-1 weekly pulses are a different animal from their bigger, team counterpart.
The goal of the 1-on-1 weekly pulse is to:
- Figure out if our direct report is on-track or off-track.
- Empower our direct report to crush the important stuff.
- Empower our direct report to push off or discard to-dos that are not a high priority. For example, a while back we discovered that our monthly Validated WordPress Backup & Update email report was not being read by recipients. So we decided to scrap it in favor of a simpler, more actionable email.
- Listen & generate ideas for process improvement to make our direct report’s job easier. For example, I noticed recently that our big projects could use a little more high-level project management & client communication. Rather than put that on my direct report, I took on that responsibility myself.
Here are a couple of basic questions that absolutely need to be answered at every single weekly pulse meeting:
- What 1 thing will you do this week that will provide the most value to our company and our customers?
- What 1 thing will you do today that will free up a ton of headspace?
As a leader, listening to the answers to these questions will give you enormous insight into what your direct report feels are the top priorities of the business. Armed with that info, you can offer reassurance, support, and guidance as needed.
There’s no 1 size fits all approach to EOS L10 meeting templates. Every business is a collection of humans struggling in different ways. So, you’ll need to start with a template (pick whichever one above makes sense to you) and then adjust to your needs.
I’ve gone through multiple iterations of these templates within my own and clients’ organizations, depending on what the business needs right now. For example, with one customer we are in the process of a complete revamp of our weekly team meeting agenda to focus on building interconnectedness & camaraderie. I’ll let you know here once we’re running with that updated agenda.
Additionally, I once worked with a company who, for political reasons, saw every single employee scoring the meetings with 10 (or more!). In this case, I replaced the meeting scoring with a fun ice-breaker question to loosen things up (which the team seemed to need and enjoy).
EOS & Meeting Agenda Resources
There are lots of business frameworks out there, and, frankly, some resemble pyramid schemes. You’ll have to sift through the cruft to find your best fit system (I use a highly-modified version of EOS). Here are some things to try:
- Consider hiring an EOS Implementer. I’ve twice engaged EOS implementers for my business, and it’s led to some fantastic learnings that have made those investments well worth it. Also, each implementer brought different experiences and tools.
- Read Traction for a deep dive into EOS techniques.
- Read books about business that inspire you.
Or if you’d like to chat about how I can help you achieve more, call, email, or stop by and say, “Hello!”.
Article updated on June 10, 2019 to include section on 1-on-1’s.