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Feb 23, 2024

L10 Meetings with Mark Abbott

On this episode, we discuss why L10 Meetings are so valuable to helping teams run effectively and efficiently.

Audio Only



Cole Abbott (00:00:05 -> 00:00:43)

<silence> Today we talking about E os. Yep. Right. And, uh, so, you know, I guess if we wanna start on what topics within EOS, uh, are interesting and know which are important, I think, you know, the L 10 meetings and that, that's a big part of it. Right? Right. Um, and so I guess sort of within that, what is, what is L 10? But it's, it's just basically a tool that we use, right? Right. And so I guess why in, in the nature of tools, right? You know, how, how does that work within the, the greater system? Yeah.

Mark Abbott (00:00:44 -> 00:04:03)

Yeah. So, well, I, I would, I would say, you know, uh, as you know, I talk a lot about concepts, tools, and disciplines, right? So it's really the level 10 meeting is all three of those. It's a concept, right? And the concept is staying connected, um, and, uh, be in agreement on sort of things that are important, um, and staying on top of how things are progressing. So that's the concept, right? The, the tool is obviously the meeting tool itself, and then the discipline is actually, it's running the weekly meeting. It's running it, well, it's following the process. So it's concepts, tools, and disciplines. But, um, but you know, if you get into tools, right? I mean, tools have been with us for tens of thousands of years and, um, and, and, and tools are four multipliers. And, uh, because they're four multipliers, most tools have, you know, a positive and a negative thing, right? So they can do good or they can do bad because by definition they're four multiplier. But, um, but, you know, we've developed these tools for that tens of thousands of years to help us make life better for ourselves and for for others. And, um, and so, you know, you know, the, you go back to the, to the hoe, um, it really is the thing that helped us move from the first age of work, which is hunter gathering to the second age of work, which is the agrarian age. And, um, and what you find is that most of the transitions from one age to another are based upon us developing a new tool or innovating on a tool, right? Because the second age to the third age was where we went from a hose that was made outta wood to hose that were made out of metal, right? And so that, that invention of, of being able to take iron and create, you know, very powerful, um, uh, plows as an example, um, uh, helped us evolve and make life better. And so, you know, each age is sort of the advancement of, of certain core tools. And, um, you know, ultimately what these tools do is they help us work better together, they make, help us make life better. And the way we make life better, um, is by advancing useful information, right? Um, and advancing useful tools. Uh, and when you break it all down, all the tools are basically helping us advance useful information so we can work better together, we can be more efficient together, we can understand one another better. We can track the things that are important, um, better and better and better. And, um, and so, you know, uh, when you think about any operating system, whether it's EOS or like 90 OS or, or Pinnacle or Empire or Scaling Up or any of these operating systems, they all have, uh, a bunch of tools. And, um, you know, the tool that we use the most often is the meeting tool, right? Um, and the meeting we have the most often for most organizations, the weekly meeting for the team, and of course we call those level 10 meetings. EOS calls 'em level 10 meetings, <laugh>. Yeah.

Cole Abbott (00:04:03 -> 00:04:14)

Yeah. Yeah. And, and so, you know, having those meetings is an important part of sort of integrating all the various disciplines within, within os you know, sort of where stuff, a lot of it comes together. A

Mark Abbott (00:04:14 -> 00:04:15)

Lot of it comes together there. Yep.

Cole Abbott (00:04:15 -> 00:04:33)

Yeah. And, and so I guess within the meetings, uh, within that, that discipline of, of, you know, carrying out those meetings, sort of, what, what was that like when you first started coaching? How, how would you facilitate that? How was the, how was was the process like and, you know, what was that experience?

Mark Abbott (00:04:33 -> 00:07:55)

Yeah. Well, um, You know, when you first start coaching and you start helping people sort of master the tools, uh, you know, what you realize early on is, you know, you think it's easy, but they struggle. Um, and so, you know, one of the first things we do after we teach people the level 10 meeting, right? You teach them obviously the structure and how to run it and how to rate it. Um, then, you know, most of us coaches will participate in a level 10 meeting, uh, usually within three, you know, three weeks or four of them starting it. Um, and invariably, you know, you see all the areas where they're not basically practicing the disciplines, right? Um, the classic one is for people to start problem solving or issue solving right at the, at the beginning of the meeting, right? Um, and sometimes it's in the segue, you know, most often it's in getting into the scorecard and looking at, at their, at their measurables and things like that. But they'll immediately start getting, you know, into, into, into issue solving. And the problem with that is that may or may not be, you know, an important issue for the day, but just because we're naturally inclined to wanna solve problems, boom, there you go. And so, you know, you see that people will start to really, um, get off track almost immediately, and it just, it's a discipline, right? And so the discipline is making sure that we stay on track, that we don't go and start trying to solve issues early on. Um, but you know, that that temptation to get off track starts at the very beginning in every single section of the meeting before you get to issue solving. There's temptations and, uh, and you invariably see that people are succumbing to those temp tape temptations in particular. 'cause what's really happening over time is, you know, you're helping these organizations learn how to work well together. And a lot of the times, the reason, one of the reasons they don't work well together is because, you know, the CEO, the visionary, right? Whatever the leader is, you know, prone to just, right, boom, I want to talk about this, boom, I want to talk about that. And so they don't even really themselves wanna be subject to the discipline. So anyway, you know, the, when you start off with, with teaching people how to master running a great meeting, um, it's, it's almost always a mess. And it's funny because it doesn't seem like it should be, but it's just human nature. So, you know, over time you meet with 'em, uh, you know, sort of in, in their space when they're having a level 10 meeting, you talk about it in the next session after the fo focus day session, which is the vision building one session. You work on the meeting again, and then maybe you meet with them again between the next session, which is the vision building two. But the point is, you gotta, you, you have to help people. Um, and, uh, and it just takes time. I think it typically takes, you know, 8, 9, 10 meetings before all of a sudden they're like, whoa, this is working. And you know, the old expression is you drag 'em into wanting to do it. Um, and they're kicking and fighting. They don't really want to do it, but once they master it, you know, they'll fight to keep it.

Cole Abbott (00:07:56 -> 00:08:22)

Yeah. So, and so you talk about sort of people wanting to do things a certain way or instinctively wanting to do things a certain way and sort of having, uh, a structure to the meeting. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> actually helps it be much more productive. Yeah. So, uh, what do you think personally is sort of the, the methodology, like the, the reasoning that the structure of the L 10 actually makes so much sense and it's so effective?

Mark Abbott (00:08:23 -> 00:11:03)

Well, it's, uh, I mean, the, so I mean, we begin the meeting with the segue, right? Which is to connect as human beings. And I think, uh, just coming together and connecting, um, uh, and then that connection thing ultimately becoming a ritual, right? I look forward to all my meetings. Um, you know, I look forward to our quarterlies. I look forward to our annuals. I look forward to the weekly meetings. Um, I genuinely look forward to all my meetings and, you know, um, and, and part of it is because, you know, they're, um, they're useful, right? Uh, and it helps us connect. It helps us stay on the same page. Um, you know, we lean into the Segway a lot, um, because we just like to stay connected as human beings. So, so just starting right with connecting as human beings is, is, is, is one of the, obviously the disciplines. Um, and then, you know, you move from, you move from there into the, uh, reviewing the scorecard and making sure that things are on track, um, objectively on track. And, um, and so, you know, so you can get that over your shoulder and move on to the next part of the meeting, uh, which is reviewing that everything is on track, big picture wise in terms of the rocks and the sort of the projects and the priorities we have for the quarter, making sure all that's good. And obviously if there are issues, we cascade them down to the issues list. And then just understanding what's going on with throughout the company in terms of doing headlines and reading cascading messages from other teams. That's, uh, you know, uh, that makes sense following the rock review. And then of course, we review the to-do's to make sure that all the things that we agreed to do last week or a couple weeks ago, if some of the to-dos are a couple weeks long, that those are, those are being done. We're living up to our agreements. And then of course, we do the issue solving section. So I think it's very logical, um, uh, the way the level 10 meetings set, that's why it's a level 10 meeting, right? It's called, you know, if you can, if you can run it really well, it's a 10 outta 10 meeting. And, um, you know, I've been running and teaching level 10 meetings for what almost, you know, over a decade now. Um, and they're bulletproof. So, you know, the order's great. It's got all the things you need to talk about. Nothing, nothing more. And I won't get into some of the disciplines, like, of solving issues, but, you know, it's just really thoughtful. It's really productive. Um, it's really efficient. And, um, and that's why it's like, it's a superstar.

Cole Abbott (00:11:05 -> 00:12:07)

Yeah. And sort of in our position as a work from anywhere company, uh, obviously it's a, it's a big deal that we nail that, right? Yeah. Especially having that, as you said, the, the personal connection piece, having the segue at the beginning, um, that's crucial. 'cause that's the only time that most of us actually get to sort of have a, a more personal experience with our coworkers. Yeah. And so we, we talked about, you know, evolution and, and creating these tools and, you know, these tools are created for a, you know, intentionally Right. Created for a purpose or created to solve a, a need. And so, you know, EOS, you know, you started off with binders and having paper, and then somebody has to take notes in a meeting. And so creating software for that to make sure that you can actually run these from anywhere, um, sort of, you know, with remote work and also how that is actually also beneficial in an in-person setting. Right. So, uh, yeah, I guess you wanna talk about sort of why that came to be and sort of the pain points that made this intentionally created product come to life?

Mark Abbott (00:12:07 -> 00:15:02)

Yeah. Well, so, I mean, there's a whole host of reasons why, you know, there's, there's a lot of power in a, in a platform where, you know, uh, where the core tools and disciplines, um, and concepts all reside. Um, and, um, you know, because otherwise, you know, you've, you've got information all over the place. Uh, it's difficult to track, it's difficult to find sometimes, right? Everybody's organizing it, the, the, the, you know, however they want to wanna organize it. And, um, it's just far less efficient and effective, right? Um, when you're doing things on, on, on paper. I mean, the beauty of the, of, of a platform like ours is that, you know, all the data's inside the system, all the core data, right? The data that we think is important for us to, to, to, to, to document and share, whether it's the vision stuff, whether it's our rocks, obviously the milestones, everything associated with it, or it's our KPIs. But it's all, you know, if you look at like the, the, the level 10 meeting, you've got, you've got KPIs in that meeting, you've got rocks review in that meeting, you have obviously the to-dos that are owed. You have a forum for organizing and making sure we're hitting all the things that matter during the, during the allotted time period. Um, we're making sure that, uh, we're all on the same page in terms of how well the meeting was run. Um, and so there's a lot that of information that's stored and organized and accessed in when you're running it on a, on a platform like ours, a cloud-based platform like ours. And of course, the beauty of it is, is that everybody can enter the, you know, their issues or mark off their, to-dos from wherever they are at whatever they want to because it's 24 7 access. Um, and then, you know, over time if you forget about, you know, an issue or you have an issue and you're like, haven't we had this issue before? You can obviously go back in, you can go find the issue, you can go see the Solve, you can go see the, to-do, um, you can see the notes on it. And so it's just, you know, it just makes it so much easier for us to not only get on the same page, but, you know, I forget a lot of stuff, right? And so it's like, no, man, we talked about this and here's the solvent. It's like, oh, you're right. Right? And so it, I think it just, uh, um, improves the relationships because, you know, it's, you know, everything is, um, organized and easy to access and we're all on the same page. Um, and, uh, and it's like, you know, the power of, you know, we don't think about whether we're putting our left leg or our right leg in our pants in the morning, right? And so to have a good process to be able to come in there and confidently know we have a good process to not be constantly refining the process or changing the process, um, uh, it frees us up to focus on doing real work.

Cole Abbott (00:15:04 -> 00:15:51)

Yeah. And so, right. It enables you to just be more productive with the things you actually want to do. And Yeah, because I, I know a lot of people out there do not enjoy meetings. Yeah. Right? 'cause you just viewed it as either a waste of time or, you know, someone thinks it's important, the rest of the group disagrees. Right? Some people just wanna be involved for the sake of being involved, and yeah. You get a lot of, uh, inefficiencies there. Yeah. So I guess, what, what do you, what have you seen, uh, change within teams and, and, uh, clients between, you know, using everyth, doing everything the old fashioned way, you know, with a, a, you know, accidental system versus, uh, sort of running it everything through software. So how, how have you seen that actually affect these, these clients and, and people?

Mark Abbott (00:15:51 -> 00:19:03)

Well, you know, I mean, there's a lot of different places, right? So obviously, uh, having all the data immediately available to go back and look at your, you know, your weekly measurables or your trailing four week measurables, or you're trailing 13 measurables, or your quarterlies or your annuals, and it's just right there, boom, very, you know, versus, you know, someone having to go try to find this information on, you know, in some Excel document somewhere on, you know, the Google drive, which by the way, no one's really thought about, well, you know, he has his folders and she has her folders and they don't even know which folder is and what's the most recent. And, you know, all that kind of stuff is, you know, it's a, can be a real waste of time and frustrate a lot of people. Um, so, uh, you know, uh, the, just the efficiency and the effectiveness stuff, right? So, um, you know, talk about effectiveness. Um, you know, we have a priority rating system on our issues, right? So 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 5 is we gotta talk about it today. And, um, and, uh, and we always do, we always get our fives done, right? Um, because we, you know, if you know that you have like 15 fives, you know, you gotta run the meeting really fast and everybody's gotta be like, we have a expression called three for speed, right? So we've got 11 people sitting here, we don't need 11 people helping us solve something, right? So let's get three for speed right now. We've got a bunch of things we gotta get done. We don't usually have issues around speed. We don't have, you know, 10 or 15 level five issues, priority five issues. But the point is, you know, it, it, it helps there. Uh, uh, you know, our, when we check in, we always say, you know, we want to get through all the fives and it's best we possibly can. All the fours and the fours are, I'd like to talk about it today, but if we don't have time, I'm cool. Right? And then the threes are, we don't need to talk about this today, but I wouldn't mind talking about the next couple of weeks. You know, the twos are, um, you know, at some point this quarter. And the ones tend to be, you know, this probably should be a long-term issue, but we're not willing to sort of put it out there we're. And so, but the point is, it really helps us make sure we're all on the same page in terms of what we gotta talk about today. Five's gotta talk about fours, really. One, two three's at cool. And so if you get to the end of the meeting and we've got all the fives and we have all the fours, and we ran the rest of the meeting really, really well, there was no conversations and problem solving before we get to the issues list, you know, and, and, and, and no one blew up at someone, you know, we rate that a 10. And so, you know, we're, the vast majority of our meetings are always tens, I think, throughout the company because we've gotten pretty good at it. Now. We're not getting into certain things right now, like the discipline around how to really do solve an issue well, right. IDS identify, discuss, and solve. But obviously that's another thing, right? If you're really good at, at following the, the process there, and, you know, we use the who with one what and why structure for, for, you know, our version of IDS. And if we nail that every single time, we're pretty darn efficient.

Cole Abbott (00:19:04 -> 00:19:50)

Yeah. And it's, it's sort of, you know, you get to a point where you do become so efficient with it, and it's like, we had a meeting last week where we were able to get, you know, through all the issues and just being really quick and, and disciplined around it. And it, it takes time, right? You get a, you get a new team spun up and you know, it's going to be kind of rusty and people come in with their, the old ways of doing things and, you know, you just, you gotta sort of just evolve and you gotta get those reps in Yeah. And, and you know, actually have experience doing it because it is sort of a, a foreign way of doing things. It's new. Yeah. And, uh, but once you get it down, like you said, it's, it's bulletproof. Yeah. You, yeah. It just make the most out of, you know, your, your hour, your 90 minutes, you know, however Yeah. However long you have allotted for it.

Mark Abbott (00:19:50 -> 00:20:50)

Yeah. And then, you know, it, it's a, you know, it's a microcosm of the bigger picture, right? Which is, you know, if you're a, if you build a, if you're a home builder, right? A general contractor, there's just certain fundamental tools you need to build a house, right? Um, obviously hammers and saws and screwdrivers and, and levels are pretty obvious things. Um, and it's the same thing with a company, right? There're just certain fundamental and, and there's disciplines, right? Of building a house, right? We need the plans, right. We need to make sure people show up on time, right? There's a bunch of disciplines associated with it. Um, and of course, the concept of the plans is an example. And it's the same thing with, you know, with building and running a great company. And ultimately, uh, you know, there's just certain things. We all just do the same, and we do this stuff really, really well. Um, and so we don't have to think about that stuff. We can spend our time really focusing on the real creative efforts associated with building a, a great company.

Cole Abbott (00:20:50 -> 00:20:59)

Yeah. If, if you're gonna do something repeatedly, you might as well, you know, master it. Yeah. Right. You know, everything that you do daily should be done

Mark Abbott (00:20:59 -> 00:21:33)

Well. Yeah. And then, and then when you have structure and have a sense what mastery looks like, then you can work on it, right? And you can have a conversation with someone and, and it's not personal. It's like, Hey, um, you know, love you, but let's wait until we get to the IDS section before we start talking about this. And, and it's not, there's that, that's not an opinion thing. That's literally, Hey, this is what we agree, this is how we run things here. And, um, and, uh, and it works. We're not questioning it, you know, let's just, let's just, let's just do this really, really

Cole Abbott (00:21:33 -> 00:21:54)

Well. Yeah. And, and it sort of just becomes second nature in terms of a cultural understanding and agreement that this is how things work and Yeah. You know, and everyone trusts that they'll be heard, right. If they have an issue, it's like, we'll get to it. Right. You don't need to get into it right now, but we'll get there and Yeah. And, and we will resolve it. Yeah. You know how it's gonna go and Yeah. So it, it relieves a little bit of that anxiety. Yeah.

Mark Abbott (00:21:54 -> 00:22:46)

And then, you know, when you bring in new people, it's like, look, you know, trust the process, trust the system. It works. It may seem a little foreign at first, but you'll get it. And you know, we obviously have, well, you know, what have we brought on board over a hundred people in the last, you know, um, you know, year-ish. And, um, and I can't tell you how many times, you know, people talk about, you know, how healthy the culture is because we have a just, we have a really good proven way of doing things and talking about things and bringing things up and, uh, you know, uh, our, our, our, our CFO now has been with us, Tim, right? He's been with us seven to eight months, and, uh, he, you know, he loves to share with people he's never been in a bad meeting, which is like the first time in his entire career.

Cole Abbott (00:22:47 -> 00:22:48)


Mark Abbott (00:22:48 -> 00:22:49)

That's pretty cool. Alright.

Cole Abbott (00:22:49 -> 00:23:13)

We're getting good at it. Yeah. And, uh, it, it is, it is cool. 'cause that is something that, you know, when you ask people who are somewhat new, what is something that surprised you where it's like coming to the company and meetings running really well is is always something that gets brought up. Yeah. Because it's something that you don't think of. You just, it's a part of life. You gotta get through it and it's, it's like no, they can actually be pleasant. Yeah. And productive.

Mark Abbott (00:23:13 -> 00:25:30)

Yeah. I mean, you know, there's so many things we can talk about in meetings, but, um, you know, one of the great things about the discipline of a weekly meeting is that if you're an effective leader, good relationships, right? Someone brings something to you, they say, Hey, I want to chat about this. You say, Hey, is it, you know, is, is this urgent and important? And is it just the two of us? Because otherwise, can we leave it for our weekly meeting? Right? And so what happens, uh, great organizations rarely, rarely have ad hoc meetings, right? And there's actually two things that are really cool about that. At least number one, right? You, you know, ad hoc meetings means something's not going well, something's broken, it's real. Um, and you're interrupting people, right? Their schedules and, and then what's worse is they don't usually have structure, right? So, you know, the beauty of if it's not urgent, not important, you can wait for our weekly meeting is you're putting that topic into a well structured, highly effective meeting. And if you rarely have ad hoc meetings, it means almost all your meetings are well structured healthy meetings. So, I mean, you think about it, right? It's like, what percentage of your, of of your meetings are ad hoc? What percentage of your meetings are unhealthy? Right? If the number is, you know, you know, 10 or 20% right? I guarantee you, if you sort of switch over and practice these disciplines, you can bring that thing down to almost zero. And that's huge, right? Because no one likes wasting their time, right? We all want to matter. We all wanna be doing work that matters. And so sitting in a, sitting in a crappy meeting with crappy dynamics and no real agenda, and some people should or shouldn't be there, and you disrupt. I mean, uh, right?

Cole Abbott (00:25:32 -> 00:25:39)

Yeah. Um, yes. I guess that's kind of, that's our, our time. That's

Mark Abbott (00:25:39 -> 00:25:40)

Our time. Yeah.

Cole Abbott (00:25:40 -> 00:25:46)

All right. We get to finish that right at the, the 30 minute mark. Cool, cool. On the camera, not on the actual video, but,

Mark Abbott (00:25:47 -> 00:25:47)

All righty.

Cole Abbott (00:25:47 -> 00:25:49)

Yeah. Yep. All

Mark Abbott (00:25:49 -> 00:25:49)

Right. Thank you.