As an entrepreneur, it is important to transcend your self-generative abilities, and learn how to work on a team. Doing it alone can get in the way of progress. Working with others makes new things possible. Teamwork is certainly worth the effort.
Yesterday, I had four meetings.
I had a Zoom Call with presidents of chapters of a networking organization that I support as a Director. They all manage their individual groups, but we meet as group once a month to share information, problem-solve issues and assess progress. Participants share accomplishments and the best practices they were utilizing that are working. One new president mentioned that he was taking notes, and that he was going to take on a practice that another president mentioned. He also questioned the terminology on one of the progress reports sent to the team. After the meeting, I called to office , and they referred me to our Area Director. When he answered the question later that day, it resulted in the opportunity for all of them to re-submit reports that would improve their chapters’ statistics.
During a short 45 minute meeting, they acknowledged what was working, helped to generate new ideas for achieving improved results, and took on new practices. Being part of a leadership team has a shared thinking to develop where everyone benefits.
My second Zoom Meeting was with members of the Dream Factory Community, an organization I founded 15 years ago for women solo-entrepreneurs. I was asking for their input for an upcoming event on gratitude. As a result of the conversation, I got some new ideas that will get implemented and benefit all the participants in the upcoming event. Allowing for other’s good ideas, encourages co-creation, not just attendance.
The third meeting was with a members of the Framingham Marketing Group, a consortium of business and marketing professionals. We were in the process of putting together a proposal for a potential corporate client. Because we had three people who represented three different skill-sets, it enabled us to compete at this level.
As we worked together, it became clear that our teamwork was helping us to offer a product that could be a great solution for our potential client’s needs; a powerful amalgamation of what we provide individually.
Board of Directors
By the fourth meeting, as the president of the Women’s Alliance at my church, I was certainly enjoying the power of a team effort. In the past, our meetings were a little rough, but this one was the by-product of each of us being clear what our jobs were, and doing them. There was ease and grace in addressing all the items on our agenda, and we even chopped ½ hour off of a 2-hour meeting.
So what is the secret sauce for having effective meetings that generate teamwork.
- Utilize notes from a past meeting to set the agenda.
- Have an agenda that serves the participants in the meeting and their accountabilities.
- Have integrity on who is attending. Everyone should be there unless there is an emergency.
- Start and end on time.
- Follow the agenda and manage the time.
- Have follow-up items with by-whens for each participant based on their accountability.
- Set up any communications or support that will happen before the next meeting.
- Set the next meeting.
Working together can make things possible that couldn’t happen without a team effort. It’s Teamwork that Makes the Dream Work.
Nancy Cantor, a business development coach and consultant since 1994, offers coaching and in-house training for corporate executives and their teams. She specializes in Teamwork, Communication, and Leadership. She has worked with Digital, Thermo Fisher, Fidelity, and Ashland Public Schools. She is the founder of the Dream Factory Community, an educational, developmental community for women entrepreneurs that has chapters in Newton, Concord, Framingham and Virtually.