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The Definitive Guide to Executive Meetings [+Free Sample Agenda Templates]

Learn how to structure your next executive meeting to be effective, action-driven, and worthwhile. ✅

The Hugo Team
The Hugo Team
The team transforming meeting productivity
The Definitive Guide to Executive Meetings [+Free Sample Agenda Templates]

In a world where 9 out of 10 people say they space out during meetings, creating an effective meeting plan is vital. This is even more so the case when it comes to an executive team meeting, where high-level employees will be taking time out of their busy schedules to attend.

If you’re looking to host an effective executive team meeting, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll be answering the following questions:

Let’s get right into it.

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What are executive team meetings?

An executive team meeting gathers everyone in the senior leadership team together in one place. Depending on the internal structure of your business, the people in the room may change. For one organization, this might include every department lead, while for another, the executive team might include the people in positions above this.

No matter who is going to be involved, an executive meeting involves senior figures to:

  • Discuss: Give updates on how each department is doing and what goals they’re currently working towards
  • Plan: Talk over current (and potential) roadblocks and use the executive team to find effective and extensive solutions
  • Execute: Get the ball rolling and ensure that what is discussed in the meetings is carried out effectively

These executive meetings provide valuable time to make decisions, plan for the future, and make sure your business is moving towards its organizational goals. 

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How often should you host executive team meetings?

There are two camps of thought when it comes to hosting executive meetings. While some believe that an executive meeting should be a weekly task, ensuring that all of your leaders are on the same page each week, others believe once a month is more than enough. 

Let’s walk through the potential benefits of each meeting type.

Weekly leadership team meeting

The primary benefit of a weekly leadership meeting is that your team will be much better informed. 

As this form of leadership team meeting includes all of your executives, they’ll be able to relay any important information down the line to the people on their team. Additionally, if any team is having problems, your leadership team will be able to work together to overcome them.

With a weekly meeting frequency of leadership team meetings, you can establish a recurring time and day for when the meeting will occur. By doing this, you’ll be able to create a schedule for your team that is much easier to follow, boosting the number of executives you can gather into one room.

Monthly leadership team meeting

On the other hand, one of the most significant benefits of monthly meetings over weekly ones is that this saves valuable time. 

By reducing the number of meetings from four times a month to once a month, you’re essentially saving up to three hours every month per attendee. Considering that your leadership team will often be incredibly busy, this is definitely not a benefit to overlook.

That being said, only meeting once a month might also lead your executive team to be forgetful and have less time to establish executive priorities.

Some businesses push this even further and choose to have one annual meeting, which can often lead to more communication issues than when meeting more frequently. If you’re off track and no one realizes for an entire year, many things can go wrong before anyone has the chance to fix it. 

No matter how busy your executive team may seem, no one is too busy to schedule one hour a month for a meeting with your company’s most important individuals.

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Blending the two approaches

One effective way of blending both weekly and monthly meetings is to do both, but have different priorities in each. 

In your weekly meetings, you’ll be able to review team activity, resolve any issues they’re facing, and provide guidance. Whereas in monthly meetings, you’ll be able to address more critical issues that the business is facing.

This blended approach gives you the best of both worlds and allows every executive team meeting to be as effective as possible.

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How do you structure an executive meeting?

As with any effective meeting, you’ll want to do a little prework and postwork to ensure that you’re not wasting anyone’s time. There are three elements that encompass good prework and postwork meeting strategies. Remember to always:

  • Create meeting agendas: An executive meeting agenda will allow you to itemize everything you’ll address in the meeting. By doing so, your senior leadership knows exactly what to expect going into the meeting, allowing them to prepare ahead of time. Additionally, this will streamline your meeting and ensure that you target all of your desired goals.
  • Take it online: Online meetings have over a 20% higher attendance rate, and they are often more enjoyable than in-person meetings. Considering that you’re going to be working with a leadership team, you’ll want as many executives there as possible. Due to the accessibility of online meetings, it’s a much better idea to run all of your meetings online. Online meeting tools like Hugo provide the option to attach meeting agendas directly to your meeting invites, making the process as easy as possible. This also prevents the need to go back and forth to schedule meeting times and notify all the meeting attendees of the location. Online meetings are a powerful tool that actively helps meeting attendees and facilitates strategic discussion — use them!
  • Send out feedback forms: An effective leadership meeting should hit certain executive meeting agenda goals throughout the session. To gauge how effective and valuable the meeting was, you should send out an easy-to-use feedback form that takes no more than 2 minutes to fill out. With your responses, you’ll be able to better tailor your meetings over time.

By conducting these three strategies, you’ll be able to cover all of your bases, making sure that your weekly meetings go off without a hitch. As you’ll be constantly improving, your team meetings will become even more efficient over time.

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What does a typical executive meeting agenda look like? 

Depending on the type of executive meeting you’re looking to run, the agenda you will want to set will vary. We’d recommend taking a look at the full collection of executive meeting agendas that are on Hugo, with the extensive range providing a great pool of inspiration.

That being said, if you want to create your own executive meeting agenda, we recommend that you include the following:

  • Messages to share with everyone: As your leadership team is in the room, this provides a great place to share important information that impacts everyone present.
  • Current priorities: Skipping the department updates, you should get right into the current focus of each executive and the team they’re leading, helping to demonstrate where everyone is on your roadmap towards success.
  • Problems to overcome: One of the core benefits of leadership team meetings is that you’ll be able to conduct discussions about how to overcome certain problems. With people in the room that can pull the trigger on initiatives and plans, you'll be able to set up all your departments for success within your weekly leadership team meeting.
  • Finish with action: Take key decisions and run with them, creating a plan that can be carried out the moment the meeting participants disperse. Discuss strategies you’ll be using going forward, and then check-up in your next leadership team meeting. If possible, publish your meeting notes by sharing them with every team member.

By including a variation of these four central strategies, you’ll be able to create an effective leadership meeting that makes every minute count. If you have meeting notes for your weekly meetings, make sure to publish them so that everyone knows what went on in that leadership meeting and can refer back when needed.


While your leadership meeting agenda will vary, the core tasks and goals you’ll want to set out will remain pretty similar. Knowing this, you’ll be able to look at Hugo’s agendas and then mold them to your individual meeting goals.

Make your next executive meeting worthwhile

Especially with all of the important people in the room, you don’t want your weekly or monthly executive meeting to be a waste of time. By using the tips in this article, like having a clear agenda, you’ll be on your way to creating fantastic executive team meetings.

Streamlining this process will enable you to synergize your departments, construct a clear vision for your company’s future, and start tracking progress more effectively. When done right, an executive meeting can be valuable time that significantly boosts the future success of your business.

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