Guest Article by Geoff Smart
Dr. Geoff Smart is the chairman and founder of ghSMART, a leadership consulting firm that exists to help leaders amplify their positive impact on the world. Dr. Smart and his firm have published multiple New York Times bestsellers. He stays active in his community and has advised many government officials.

In my opinion, most meetings are a complete waste of time. Although the relayed information might be important, it isn’t always delivered in an effective way, since most managers do not know how to run meetings. Successfully leading huddles or meetings is an important part of building great relationships and leading talented teams. If you want to start getting more from your employees and your meetings, try utilizing the following three methods to run your meetings like a CEO.


Always Request An Agenda

Early in my career, an acquaintance invited me to a business lunch. I can remember wondering, “What does he want to talk to me about?” After a little bit of small talk, he unveiled his agenda. He wanted to sell me a new insurance policy. It ended up being a huge waste of time for both of us. After that meeting, I made sure to only accept invitations that had an agenda – this comes with three distinct benefits.

The first is the fact that you can see what will be discussed in the meeting, and you can decline the invite if it doesn’t pertain to you or your work. The second is that you can actually prepare for the meeting. The final benefit is that it makes you appear competent. Since you can come prepared, it will look like you have everything under control.


Ask Questions And Avoid Talking Too Much

One of the biggest mistakes managers make when leading a meeting is trying to dominate the conversation. You may be thinking, “Aren’t CEOs supposed to tell their attendees what to do in meetings?” The answer is no; the great CEOs don’t. In fact, the best CEOs will spend their time asking questions that are strategic, reflective and related to accountability. This helps them brainstorm new ideas with their team, ensure everyone is on the same page and put the responsibility on others so they can follow up in the future.


Discuss, Debate And Decide

The beginning of your meetings should focus on your strategy and what needs to be discussed. After a topic is introduced, CEOs will say things like “Let’s debate what we should do about this. Who has some ideas?” That brainstorming will help develop the best solution, and the CEO will then make a decision about what to do or who should handle each responsibility. Your meetings need to be focused on production. If you give people the freedom to speak openly, you will accomplish much more.