The door swings wide open at 9:00am on the dot. Harry Truman greets you with a smile and “Good morning.” You and the twelve other members of the White House staff walk into the oval office for the daily meeting.
Yes, Harry Truman led daily team meetings, and his essential staff were only 13 deep. Every morning at 9:00am sharp, Truman gathered his staff around his desk in the oval office to go over the day’s events as a team.
One by one, he would ask for updates around the room. At what events have I been invited to speak? What bills, executive orders, and international agreements do we have in the works right now? What are our biggest threats?
Then, Truman would hand out assignments for the day. Things he needed his team members to read, projects he needed them to lead, conversations to be had, and more.
By the end of the meeting 15–20 minutes later, everyone on the team knew the state of operations, and they knew where they fit in the big picture. It proved effective for Truman, especially as he found his footing as a duly elected president following the end of the second World War.
If daily team meetings were effective for the President of the United States, I would bet that daily team meetings would be effective for you and your team as well.
At a minimum, having a standing meeting every morning requires each person on the team to account for their progress the day before and own their goals for the day ahead. The shared sense of momentum that comes from this kind of collaboration is like rocket fuel for team engagement. And when things aren’t going well, it’s the fastest and most surefire way to make fast adjustments.
Why don’t you have daily team meetings?
Thanks to David McCullough and his remarkable research for the inspiration for today’s post.