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  • Amy Watkins

Your Most Important Meeting of the Week

Updated: Dec 16, 2019


We can probably all identify that “one” meeting that’s non-negotiable. Or, the one person who might send a meeting request we would never refuse. In fact, you would cancel most anything else to make it work. Right?

What is Your Most Important Meeting?

As a self-professed strategy and ideation junkie, I’m a lover of reflection and alone time. It’s easy for me to argue your most important time of the week is the time you invest in reflection with your CEO. That’s you! You’re your own CEO, and forfeiting valuable time with yourself invested in reflection will leave you reactive, stressed, and possibly feeling burned out. As a coach, I see it all the time. The evidence is unwavering as some leaders dash around and profess, “I’m so busy I don’t have time to do anything!” Or, in a coaching meeting, the leader hangs their head to confess their lack of “think” time.

Peter Drucker, popular management guru said it well, “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection, will come even more effective action.”


Are you standing up your CEO and missing your most important meeting of the week? If so, you may need to check yourself on the following.

1-      You’ve convinced yourself you’re too busy. If you knew this was a top contender for “most crucial meeting of the week” or “the one meeting that would dramatically alter your leadership M.O.”, would you keep telling yourself the same story? If you could see the ROI Drucker references in his quote, would that change your mind?

Start by blocking time on your calendar and honor it. Or, grab smaller chunks of time between appointments as they present themselves. One of my clients, a partner in a large law firm, takes a pocket journal with him wherever he goes to pen impromptu thoughts. Once hooked, you’ll find yourself craving it!

2-      You’re sitting at the coffee shop or in the conference room because you made the big commitment to your CEO, and find yourself asking, “Now what?” If the concept of reflection is a stranger to you, the practice can admittedly feel awkward. Begin by answering these questions:

·         What is my greatest success this week?

·         How did I use my strengths? How did it make me a better leader?

·         What’s my one do-over?

·         What did I learn from it?

·         What do I want to do differently next week in X situation/s?

3-      You tell yourself “This kind of stuff just isn’t for me.” Everyone needs space, and the practice can look different for everyone. You have options! Introverts may enjoy reflecting by themselves or with one other person. Extraverts usually prefer to process and reflect with someone else – perhaps a colleague, coach or a mastermind group. Either approach works. The value is in the expression of processing what has happened and what you can learn from it.

Still a nonbeliever? Ask Harry Kraemer, former CEO of multibillion-dollar Baxter International and leader of 52,000 employees. He’s currently a strategy professor at Kellogg School of Business where he continues to reinforce his position on the importance of think time. Kraemer is one of countless leaders who has engaged in self-meetings for many years. He says, “Look, it’s not about spending hours contemplating your navel…It’s all about self-improvement, being self-aware, knowing my {your} self, and getting better.”

The list goes on. Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, preaches the value of under scheduling, Warren Buffett emphatically states, “I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think”.  It equates to 80% of his time. And, Bill Gates takes “think weeks.”

I want to be that kind of CEO. Don’t you? Why would any of us miss this meeting?

#BUSINESSSTRATEGY #Focus #Leadership