the awesome mid-week performance huddle

Like it or not, all acts of man go astray with time. We can be fired up and focused on Monday, lost in the weeds by Wednesday. If our mission matters, we simply can’’t rely on a Monday staff meeting to carry us through the week.

That’’s where the awesome mid-week performance huddle comes in. Keep in mind, this is no run-of-the-mill meeting.

Awesome.

First, it has to be awesome. Short, powerful, focused, on-time, no excuses, no junk, no long stories, no debate. I’’m talking 10-15 minutes, don’’t sit down, don’’t go for coffee or a donut. If you sit down, it should be because you are breathing hard, like a fighter between rounds.

Mid-week.

Gallup tells us people need praise every 7 days. High performance athletes tell us they need directive feedback (praise and critique) every day. DO NOT WAIT for your Monday staff meeting to do this. It’’s too late! Sometime between 8am Wednesday morning and noon Thursday, period.

Performance.

This is an accountability meeting, not a discussion. It’s about performance. It is about the numbers. Announce last week’s team results, highlight top performers thus far this week, and identify by name anyone who has yet to report progress for this week.

That said, it is not just about calling people to the mat.  It is about identifying anyone who needs help before their week is blown to bits and offering them support, encouragement and resources, as needed.

If you think ‘performance by the numbers’ is only for salespeople, think again. Everyone can have a number: percent complete on their key actions for the week, number of issues resolved, quality score, etc. For tips on this, check out Verne Harnish’’s Mastering the Rockefeller Habits or Gino Wickman’’s Traction.

Huddle.

Get together! Do a conference call if you must, but don’’t think for a second that this can happen by email. One thing we have learned about technology: it has yet to replace the power of human-being-to-human-being interaction, especially for accountability.

Okay, so that’’s what it is. Here is why you need it.

1. Your mission deserves it. If you are working on something that matters, a modest level of focus and productivity isn’’t acceptable. Your mission deserves your team’s best effort.

2. Your team needs it. Your team needs to know you care. They need to hear from you. They need time with you. Even if you see them every day, this kind of focused attention with them speaks volumes about your commitment to their success.

3. You need it. You are a team member, too. Your performance as a leader flags by Wednesday just like everyone else’s. You should have a number. You should report it. You should lead by example and ask your team to hold you accountable.

Convinced? A word of caution.

If you are willing to give this important activity a try, understand that it will be awkward at first. Understand that others may not share your enthusiasm. It will take time.

Commit to do it for at least a complete quarter before you pass judgment. If you are not willing to commit to a quarter, save face and stick with the status quo. If you do move forward, who knows, with time you might step up to the big leagues…: the daily performance huddle.

Please comment: If you are doing a daily or mid-week performance huddle, how is it working? If you aren’’t, why not? If you have found other ways to make your meetings awesome, please share that, too!