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How a Properly Planned Agenda Eliminates Ineffective Meetings

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Organizations spend a great amount of time throughout the course of a year in meetings. Meetings should always be meaningful, organized, and necessary. Unfortunately, too many meetings I have sat through fit what a friend once told me, “Meetings are people sitting around talking about things they ought to be doing.” I can recall many meetings I attended through my career wishing I could have been in my office working!

I think meetings are more fruitful if they are preceded by a comprehensive Planning Meeting at the beginning of the year. The purpose of this initial meeting is to get everyone on the same page for the upcoming year.

University of St. Francis Athletics

Our full-time people in the St. Francis athletic program would annually meet approximately two weeks after the May final exams. We met to review the past year and to plan for the upcoming year which began in late July with our fall athletes arriving for preseason practices. We devised a simple, but comprehensive, plan to prepare for the upcoming year. Our full-time people blocked out four hours – from 8:00am -12:00pm – for one week to plan for the new year. This gave us 20 hours set aside for one thing: Planning.

As the Athletic Chair, I brought the agenda to the meeting. Our first order of business was to study the agenda and add important items that I missed. We then reviewed the previous year by having each person review his goals. I don’t ever remember accomplishing all my goals, so I reviewed mine first. By doing this, everyone knew that it was okay not to achieve all your goals. Those not achieved could be carried into the upcoming year.

The agenda was divided into two areas – “Priority Items” and “All-Other Items.” We first discussed the Priority Items, the most important things we had to face for the coming year. We then developed an action plan for each of the Priority Items. 

The All-Other Items were primarily setting dates for annual functions we had to plan for like banquets, community/fundraising events, the golf outing, and all other date-related events. These dates were important because they needed the cooperation of other busy University Departments like Food Service and Maintenance. The sooner we gave these dates to our cooperating departments, the better for their planning.

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakein

It was my job to take copious notes of our discussions so I could write our annual Planning Document. It was a simple document delineating the items we had to accomplish for the new year. We then sent the document to both our full-time and part-time personnel.

Each full-time person would write his goals for the coming year, especially integrating the Priority Items into these goals. We had many more part-time, off campus, coaches than our full-time people. The Planning Document was sent to every part-time coach so they could read it prior to our combined full and part-time personnel meeting.

In mid-July, we held our total department meeting. Each full-time person would speak to his responsibilities within the Planning Document. By doing this, our part-time people had the opportunity to read the document prior to the meeting and then listen to it come alive as the full-time people presented their portion of the document.

When our full-time personnel finished their presentations, we opened the meeting to our part-time people for their input. They always offered points we had missed and subsequently could add to our planning. This format enabled us to have all our people on the same page to face the upcoming year. 

At mid-term we would meet with our full-time people and get a progress report on each person’s goals. We would get final reports at our year-end meeting as well. We would then review the goals and begin the planning cycle for the next year.

This format allowed us to not have meetings for meetings sake. We met when we had to plan for important events or when problems arose. These meetings were both organized and necessary. At all other times we were in our offices working.

Final Thoughts

From our experience, I would recommend four thoughts for your consideration:

  • I would encourage you to meet with your principal people and write an annual Planning Document.
  • I would encourage you to share the Planning Document with all of your people.
  • I would encourage you to have your principal people write their goals in concert with your Priority Items.
  • Although you will not accomplish all your goals each year, I believe you will be surprised at ALL you do achieve due to this format.

I hope you find that some of our planning details can be integrated into your planning.

Pat Sullivan was a successful coach, teacher, and administrator in the Chicago area for 44 years – 10 years at the high school level and 34 at the collegiate level. His basketball teams won 602 games; he was named Coach-of-the-Year 11 times; and he has been inducted into 8 Halls of Fame. He has received Lifetime Achievement awards from Lewis University, the Joliet, Illinois, Chamber of Commerce, and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. Pat has offered basketball clinics and camps in Austria, Ireland, Belgium, and Greece and has spoken at clinics throughout America for the USA Coaches Clinics. He has also spoken to business executives from IBM, Accenture, and Sun Microsystems, as well as the University of Notre Dame’s Play Like A Champion conference. He is the author of Attitude-The Cornerstone of Leadership and Team-Building: From the Bench to the Boardroom.

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The 3 Step Process to Building a Profitable Pitch

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As a communication coach, one of the top questions entrepreneurs ask me is how to deliver a winning pitch to potential investors. They want to know if there’s a magic formula to get an investor to say yes and buy into their dream and their business. (more…)

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The 4 Pillars of Wealth and Abundance

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Have you ever wondered what the formula for a wealthy and abundant life is? Many people have. Lots has been written about the subject of wealth creation and living an abundant life. It was a breaking point in my journey and pursuit of success when I found out that there is a clear path to achieve success in life. Thanks to those who have shared their journey, we can clearly see and follow the principles of prosperity. (more…)

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Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show

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why you should have a podcast
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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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7 of the Biggest Enemies Stopping You From Success

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Everyone wants to be successful. It is a thing we all wish for. We want to achieve mind-blowing success. However, the road to success is not so easy. And the funniest part is, you are the one to determine whether you become successful or not. (more…)

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