Level 10 Meetings: Everything you Need to Know

Learn why thousands of leadership teams are using the level 10 meeting to identify, discuss, and solve issues.

Executive Team in Board Room having a Level 10 Meeting

There’s been a lot of buzz recently on the topic of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). This Operating System was created by author and businessman, Gino Wickman, who describes the system as: 

“A set of timeless business principles and real-world tools that help entrepreneurs get what they want from their businesses.”

Under this operating system, the solution to having too many meetings is to actually have another meeting, called the level 10 meeting. Sound terrible? Don’t be so quick to judge. Thousands of companies are using the level 10 meeting to identify, discuss and solve issues, and it’s actually very effective. 

In this article, the Fellow team is going to highlight what a level 10 meeting is, go through a level 10 meeting agenda, and talk about the pros and cons of this type of meeting. Keep scrolling to learn more!

What is a level 10 meeting?

A level 10 meeting is a weekly check-in meeting with your leadership team, where attendees develop a strategy that they can hold themselves and their team accountable to. These team meetings are principally dedicated to solve issues and create an issues list of items that require attention.

A recent article by Grow Exceptional provides a great explanation of what these meetings really are: 

“It’s a 90-minute weekly meeting, held amongst the company leadership team. While 25 minutes are reporting, a full 60 minutes of every meeting is spent on truly solving the top 1-3 issues: issues that probably have crept up time and again, month over month, for years! Imagine if you put your heads around even one root issue – and solved it – every week. If I’m doing the math right, you’d be solving over 50+ real company issues a year.” 

Now that you have an understanding of what these meetings are, let’s go through a level 10 meeting agenda so that you can see the topics that are discussed and the amount of time that needs to be allocated to each meeting agenda item. 

The level 10 meeting agenda 

Just an FYI: This meeting agenda remains consistent and identical for every business that uses it. Let’s take a closer look:

1 Check in – 5 minutes

Ask each participant to briefly share a personal and professional accomplishment in the past week. Starting the meeting with a win is going to set a positive tone for the rest of the conversation. 

2 Scorecard – 5 minutes

Use these 5 mins to update your weekly scorecard or metrics for each attendee. Only address 1-5 of the most important metrics. This section is not to engage in discussion, but to add issues to the issues list.

In an article by GrowBeyond, they communicate more specifically what your scorecard section should look like: 

“Each measurable will have a goal next to it and an owner, who is accountable for hitting this goal, will be in your leadership team. For example, you may track the number of sales calls made each week and have a goal of 100 calls per week. The owner of this number would be your sales and marketing director. During the scorecard review, you review each measurable with the owner of each one saying what the actual number was for the last week.” 

3 Rock review – 5 minutes

Each participant simply states if they’re on track or off track for each assigned major (90-day) goal, which is referred to in level 10 meetings as a “rock”. Here, also add issues to the issues list. 

4 Customer/employee headlines – 5 minutes

Share your client and employee feedback with the rest of the team, with one sentence, indicating good or bad. Still, no discussion but continue to add issues to the issues list.

5 To-do list – 5 minutes

Each team member either says that they’re done, not done, or if an item is in progress for each of their responsibilities from last week’s to-do list. Hold off on the discussion here and keep adding issues to your issues list. 

6 IDS: Identify, Discuss, Solve – 60 minutes

Finally, this is where the discussion begins. IDS stands for: Identify, Discuss and Solve. This is the 3-step problem resolution method you’re going to use to understand the root of problems, discuss the problems and then identify specific action items that individual team members can take to resolve the problems.

Taking the time to constructively solve problems is going to be a lot more effective than jumping to quick solutions. It’s all about the journey, not the destination, right? Start by prioritizing all of the issues and then use IDS to work through them, by order of priority. 

7 Conclude – 5 minutes

Take this final section of the level 10 meeting agenda to recap your to-do list and identify the next steps from the meeting. In an article by the Founder of Whittle & Partners, Jeff Whittle, highlights more specifically what should be included in your leadership team wrap-up: 

“In the Conclusion, you want to accomplish three very important things:

Recap the to-do’s: Make sure every to-do was assigned to a person and that that person is certain they can finish it in one week.

Identify cascading messages: The leadership team makes decisions that affect the whole company. Be sure to assign a to-do to send messages out to other levels of the organization when relevant.

Rate the Meeting: On an honest scale of 1-10 how was this meeting. Anything under an 8.0 warrants discussion.” 

Productive meetings start with an agenda

Meetings being booked without a purpose or going completely off-topic? Fellow’s collaborative approach transforms meetings into productive work sessions you’ll want to attend.

Meetings Feature Fellow

Pros of level 10 meetings 

1 Keep your team aligned on goals

By focusing on your business goals and the most important challenges that your organization is facing once a week, you and your team members are going to stay focused and productive.

It’s hard to forget what the business objectives are and which goals you’re working towards crushing when there’s a meeting to follow-up every week. The level 10 meeting serves as a constant reminder of what you need to resolve so that you can move on to the next obstacle, and your business can thrive. 

2 Focus on your team’s issues

The real purpose of the level 10 meeting is to discuss your team’s issues. It’s not often that you’d dedicate a whole hour to issue resolution, so make sure to take advantage. You can really dive deep into the issues that the team is facing so that you can collaborate and strategize a means to mitigate problems and alleviate complications on the way to achieving your goals. 

3 Save time (Level 10 meetings are time efficient)

This one’s sort of obvious but still totally note-worthy. Having a strictly time-capped meeting like this is going to keep you and your team members focused on resolving issues. Because there’s a time limit, each person is pushed to be concise and to-the-point, with only enough time to communicate pressing and important information. 

Cons of level 10 meetings 

1 Require an EOS facilitator

For your level 10 meeting to be a success you might need an EOS facilitator, A.K.A someone who is well-versed with EOS and can keep everyone on topic and within their time restraints.

If you don’t have an EOS facilitator, it can be really tough for the framework to be successful, since you need to respect and follow the somewhat rigid configuration of the meeting. 

2 Require lots of preparation

A lot of hustle has to happen before level 10 meetings can take place. Think about it… You’ve got to prepare (and thoroughly understand) the scorecard and any other important company metrics, have feedback from clients consolidated and have an organized list of issues to present, every single week.

This could be a lot of extra work for some teams who are not prepared to prioritize the level 10 meetings. The thing is, if participants aren’t prepared, these meetings simply become a waste of time. 

3 Require some manual processes

Using the level 10 meeting structure can be kind of challenging. The manual implementation of this meeting structure is a little demanding and it means that someone has to own this responsibility of documenting and sharing the meeting notes to really gain traction with the team. 

Conclusion

It’s never a bad idea to try something new, and we actually think that level 10 meetings are worth a go for a lot of leadership teams. Business Coach, Toby Cryns brings up a point that you might have been thinking of the whole time you were reading this article: 

“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).” 

It’s true: A lot of business frameworks make us want to turn away because we simply can’t take on the risk. That being said, EOS and level 10 meetings have been tested and tried by thousands of companies over the last fifteen years. It comes down to recognizing if this kind of approach to a weekly leadership meeting is right for you and your organization. If what you’re doing right now isn’t working, why not give it a go? 

Whenever you want a refresher on what level 10 meetings are be sure to visit this guide that takes you through what a level 10 meeting is, the structure and content of a level 10 meeting agenda and some pros and cons to consider before you give this meeting framework a try.

Thanks for taking the time to give this a read and don’t forget to share with a friend or a colleague who could benefit! 

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