Focus Meetings and Hitting Goals

I am back with a new episode today.

And here’s the thing…

Something I don’t think people have enough of is focus.

And one thing people hate is meetings… yet they want to hit their goals.

And so this is a love-hate episode with sharing a little bit of a story of some things that we've been doing in our business to try to be better at focus and to be better at having meetings.

I got my notes here in front of me and we’re going to dive in.

Are you ready?

​Transcript / MP3

What's good everybody.

This is your boy, Greg Hickman and I'm back with another episode.

And in this episode, I want to talk about focus meetings and actually hitting your goals.

So let's dive in. ...All right. All right. All right. I got my notes here in front of me and we're going to just jump right in. So look, focus meetings and hitting your goals. Focus in meetings. Um, one thing I think people don't have enough of is focus. One thing people hate is meetings, yet they want to hit their goals. And so this is like a love-hate episode with uh, sharing a little bit of a story of like things that we've been doing in our business and tried to be better at focus to be better at having meetings. In some cases that meant fewer meetings in some cases that meant more meetings, uh, but all in an effort to hit our goals. And so as someone who is a lover of technology, um, use, I always see like other people, people that I want to emulate kind of, you know, reached their levels of success.

Like you hear that they're using a tool like Trello or, or they're using whatever project management tool and then you kind of divert your focus from whatever tool you are using and now you're using that tool. And that has applied to a lot of different tools in my day, but definitely around project management. Right? Um, my team is fully remote and so we communicate a lot through software like slack and things like that. And really, I'm someone who loves paper. Like, I love, I love my notebook, I love my, my paper notes. I literally live and die by sticky notes. And so while I love technology, like when it comes to like the things I'm working on and the things that I want to get done, um, they've typically have lived in an on paper, which gets a little bit difficult when you're trying to communicate and lead a team who are not here and cannot see that paper. And so we've been through tons and tons of different project management tools. We've tried Reich, we've done Trello. Uh, we've done teamwork, we've done a sauna, we've done, um, base camp. Like we've literally tried a lot of them. And um, you know, the team liked many of them to be honest, but it was Greg, Greg, the owner who had a problem with it. Right? For some reason, he, he wouldn't be in the tool. He wouldn't really use the tool. And literally guys for the longest time,

I didn't realize it was because I like and prefer my to do's and my like those are the things that keep me focused on paper in front of me, which obviously is not helpful to people that are remote. So, uh, it led to a lot of challenges, primarily the headaches that I created for my team by saying, Hey, this tool is not working, let's go to this other tool when, you know, in some cases they really liked a particular, uh, so look, if maybe I'm the only one, but like I legitimately don't like project management tools.

Because I don't go in them. Now does that mean that you shouldn't have them? That's a different conversation. I'm not here to tell you one way or the other. I wanted to share something that I think allowed us to get focus, have more effective meetings and actually start hitting our goals because, um, you know, we'd often hop on our weekly team meetings and we look at the project management tool and say, hey, like, what's on, what's on each of our plates for the, for the week. And like, mine was never really updated accurately. Uh, and then I wouldn't go in to communicate where my things were because I didn't really like these tools. Like I literally felt overwhelm and pressure and like I got anxious when thinking about having to be in these tools. Like I see other people do it, they seem to love it.

Like just wasn't, has never been something for me. And so, um, kind of how we, we've really found momentum here recently is to get clear on our goals and where we want to go and really what those outcomes look like. So that we're always talking to the outcome and the tasks, how I managed my own tasks and how the team manage their, their, their own tasks. Like really just then becomes to the point, well, whatever works for you, works for you. And now, yes, we do need to keep some of the, the goals and the outcomes in

In a place where we can all see that. And we use air table for that. So Air Table, if you've never seen it. So we're super bad ass tool. I'll link it up in the show notes below. Um, we created a project or whatever you call them in air table that's called team cadence. And a, every Monday we hop on and we look at,

Our weekly commitments and those weekly commitments roll up to 30 day outcomes. And in those 30 day outcomes roll up into 90 day targets. Um, and I've that language, um, and adopted that language actually from Alex Charfen. Shout out to him and his podcast momentum. Um, one of my definitely favorite podcasts that I listen to. Again, I'll link that up in the show notes below, but you can just look up momentum podcast. Uh, and so we would always be like 90 day goals. Like we called the 90 day, the 30 day in the weekly, all the same things. So when some, when someone was like, this sounds stupid, but when someone was like, Yup, I completed my objective or I hit that goal, I was like, wait, which goal? The weekly goal, the 30 day goal or the 90 day goal. And so just the slight change in verbiage to 90 day targets, 30 day outcomes and weekly commitments.

Like when someone says like, Yep, knocked out all my commitments, I know that they're talking about the things that align with the week and then the outcomes that aligned with a month. And then the targets are the things that we're aiming to like our big rocks. Like if you are, um, uh, scaling up, fan the book scaling up or Rockefeller Habits or um, you know, in Eos big, uh, yeah, big rocks, quarterly, quarterly rocks. Then the same concept applies. Those are our 90 day targets. Sometimes I'll call them big rocks, right? Um, but the reality is it's like once I was able to get the team clear on what the 90 day targets were, and then as a team, we reverse engineer those into 30 day outcomes than hey, what does Greg need to do this week? What does Lisa or Megan needs or Amanda need to do this week to get these things done, becomes more of a conversation.

And so on our weekly team meeting, we are looking at our weekly commitments and we're making sure that hey, the things that Greg is committed to this week actually ally like of these tasks, what 30 day outcome does that align to? Okay, cool. What third w uh, what 90 day target does that align with? Right. Because what I found oftentimes is the things that I'm committed to each week actually in the past weren't rolling back up to my 90 day. Right? And so I'm working on things that actually aren't moving the business forward. So do you ever feel like you're working on things that aren't moving the business forward? While for us that was getting the clarity by declaring the 90 day target, then 30 day outcomes to help us get there. Those are like the benchmarks, the milestones, you know, 30, 60, and then on the 90th day we would have the target.

Um, and then what are the weekly commitments? Now for weekly commitments, I aim to really try to focus only on three. I will put those on a sticky note. Our clients, uh, often share what their top three commitments are for the week. Um, it's how we hold each other accountable. Like, Hey, these are the I'm worked out working on, but internally I can now have a meeting every Monday with my team and say, these are the things that I'm committed to getting done. And they can see how those align with the 30 day and a 90 day. And the big question mark that I always had as the CEO when looking at the things that they were doing in these project management tools, I couldn't correlate them to, well, how does this actually align with the thing that we're trying to achieve, this goal that we're trying to achieve?

And so we created a really nice, you know, proprietary to us, um, you know, spreadsheet sort of thing that we use where I can just literally have a meeting with the team and I can hop in this thing and we can check them off as they get because look, there's a lot of sub steps that probably make up some of those completing some of those commitments. But I don't care about those. I just care about are you getting your commitments done right? And if now I see that you're not getting your commitments done each week, we can figure out why that is. I mean overcommitting maybe you're working on maybe the, the way in which you're working on solving that problem is too much or too difficult or you need help or something like that. Right? So by really distilling down our focus to 90 day, 30 day and then weekly commitments and then having a kind of a dashboard so to speak, that we as a team look at on a weekly basis.

It's really eliminated a lot of the uncertainty and confusion that came from me personally going into a project management tool, trying to follow threads of conversations. So we have a couple quick calls throughout the week to talk about these things and we have slack to chat about them and the channels and it feels like we're all just moving in momentum, right? Like we're moving forward, uh, because I know that everyone's commitments and the things that they're working on are aligned to our big goals. So of course they should be working on those things. It's going to get us closer to hitting those goals. And just that simple, that simplification alone has allowed me to really, while I Guess Air table is a project management tool now it's more of like a dashboard for us to make sure that we're on track to our goals versus you know, a traditional project management tool.

So I don't use an Assan. I don't use a Trello. I don't have the need for any one of those things right now. And it feels great for me. It feels like there's a weight off my shoulders. So ask yourself like if you're struggling with these tools yourself, maybe it comes down to you know, a, you don't like these tools because you're more of a a pen and paper pad kind of guy like me and, and two, are you guys clear and are you specifically as the leader clear on what your goals are, your annual goals so that you can target, you can have those 90 day targets and the 30 day out and the weekly because once you operate knowing that every commitment and thing that you're working on aligns to the greater good of getting you closer to to your goals. The more you feel like you're actually making progress and you actually feel like you're winning with your team, you see your team winning and you feel like you're winning date or congratulating you on winning.

And in some cases, like this week, I'm a week and a half ahead. On a lot of the things that I need to be working on, which feels great. So look, I don't know how you are getting focused. I don't know how you meet with your team or how often or if you are not hitting your goals because you're getting lost in some of the project management tools that exist. But the more that you can simplify it, we have a weekly Monday meeting where we talk about the things that I just talked about. Um, 90 day targets, 30 day outcomes we commitments and then we have a quick team stand up on Wednesdays and Fridays. So we talked three times a week and we're a team of, you know, four people, uh, that are full time at the moment. And that's how we rock. If you've been looking to grow and scale your agency, but you're tired of trading time for money, custom projects, and relying on referrals alone, it can be hard.

That's probably why if I gave you five, 10, or 20 new clients right now, you are, your business would break. I struggle with the same thing for a while until I figured out a better way. So I created a special experience called foundations to help you package up your knowledge and experience into a profitable online program, launch your automated sales system and systemize your fulfillment. You'll work directly with me, my team, and a group of entrepreneurs just like you to implement the systems and get the help you need to learn more and see if it's a fit. Just hop on over to myscalablebusiness.com and schedule a call with us today.

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