It is lonely at the top. That’s a fact borne out in my work with senior leaders. The higher up the organization you go, the fewer peers you have. The people giving you advice have their own agendas, not nefarious…
I frequently run strategic retreats for clients. We focus on clarifying strategy, setting goals and mapping out the way forward. We will identify any elephants in the room and discuss them as a way to shrink and remove them. Clients love these sessions and will often schedule them quarterly to stay on track. Here are some classic mistakes leaders make about their offsite meetings:
- Not hiring a professional. It’s virtually impossible to be in the conversation and also lead it. Take yourself out of the equation and have an experienced facilitator optimize time with your team.
- Setting up new committees and action teams. These generally die a quick death after any offsite. If you need something done, make it part of your regular management structure and business processes. Don’t build parallel structures.
- Meeting once a year or less. A once a year meeting is great for large teams to come together, but if this is your management team, you ought to be taking time out once a quarter, even for just half a day. That way you can track progress and reassess direction
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