What is a Level 10 Meeting? And How to Use Them for Productivity?

What exactly is a Level 10 Meeting? Why should you use them in your startup and can you use them to up your productivity in 2023?
What is a level 10 meeting

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What exactly is an Level 10 Meeting?

Did you know that, on average, employees attend 62 meetings per month? And that they view half of those meetings as a total waste of their time?

In fact, since the start of the pandemic, time spent in meetings has more than doubled. That’s some pretty major time-wasting. And when time means money, you can’t afford to let those hours pass you by.

Enter the Level 10 Meeting™ as trademarked and conceptualized by EOS.

The Level 10 Meeting is a process-driven approach to making your meetings way more productive.

Instead of spending half of your time giving status updates or digging into the background of every little mishap, the Level 10 Meeting agenda nixes the chit-chat and focuses only on the things that are going to move the needle on your mission, namely:

  1. Understanding the BIG issues in your business
  2. Solving them

It’s simple, logical, and achievable with some hard work. But you have to stick to the process.

A Level 10 Meeting is a weekly meeting that lasts for about 90 minutes, and it’s designed to help you and your team stay focused on your goals and priorities. Think of it like a power-up session for your productivity levels.

Now, we know what you’re thinking. “A 90-minute meeting? That sounds like torture!” But trust us, it’s worth it. The Level 10 Meeting is structured in such a way that it keeps everyone engaged and on-task, and it helps you get to the heart of the matter quickly.

We use it to keep our team at Whale and we recommend that you do too!

How the Level 10 Meeting began

Level 10 Meetings are part of the EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) toolkit. 

The founder of EOS Worldwide, Gino Wickman knows the devastating impact of inefficient meetings can have on revenue. So when he created the  Entrepreneurial Operating System®, he made sure that an element focused on meetings.

What does an Level 10 Meeting do for productivity?

Well, for starters, it ensures that everyone on your team is aligned and working towards the same objectives. It also helps you identify and solve issues faster, so you can stay on track and avoid getting derailed by unexpected problems.

Plus, because the Level 10 Meeting is structured and focused, it’s a great way to stay accountable and ensure that everyone is on top of their tasks and responsibilities. And let’s be real – who doesn’t love a good dose of accountability?

Ultimately the Level 10 Meeting is like a superhero team-up for your business, and who doesn’t want to be a superhero? 

Five rules for an effective Level 10 Meeting... and how we run them at Whale

If your meetings are going to come close to achieving that perfect 90-minute Level 10 Meeting, you need to prioritize these five factors every week:

  1. Meet on the same day each week

The most important factor is to meet on the same day each week.

At Whale 🐳 , we start our Mondays with our Level 10 Meetings, making sure we’re ready for UBER productivity for the week!

When a new team member starts, we occasionally host a breakfast BEFORE we start but we keep our meetings on the same day each week!

A Level 10 Meeting with a group of people sitting around a table in an office.

2. And meet at the same time each week

But one of the first rules of a successful Level 10 Meeting is to stick to a set meeting time and not cave to anyone else’s busy schedule. The moment you do, your meeting loses its importance and becomes something your team will think they can bail on whenever they have something else to do that feels more important.

At Whale 🐳 , you’ll find that Monday mornings are Level 10 Meetings. 10am for marketing, 11am for product and so we go!

3. Start on time each week

At Whale 🐳 , we have a rule. If you’re on time, you’re late, and five minutes early is on time.

Timing is SUPER important if you’re going to crack your meetings.

4. End on time each week

You have to respect people’s time. And the only way to do that is to have the discipline to stick to your timings.

Setting out your expectations and intentions is essential here. For example, if your first Level 10 Meeting starts late and runs over by 30 minutes, that’s what your attendees will remember.

At Whale 🐳 we HAVE to end our meetings on time in order to start the next one on time.

5. Stick to the same agenda

The whole purpose of the Level 10 Meeting is to keep you on task, focused on the big issues, and pressing forward towards that vision.

It may be tempting, but the agenda is there for a reason — stick to it.

Good questions, let’s check ’em out. 🧐

“Be open and honest. If someone arrived late, hijacked the meeting or the whole team wasn’t fully engaged, call those behaviors out.”

Ken DeWittExpert EOS Implementer®, DeWitt LLC (Source: EOS Worldwide)

At Whale 🐳, in accordance with the general Level 10 Meeting structure, we have check-in followed by our scorecard, followed by our rocks, and then onto headlines, to-dos and issues. Then it’s time to close to action that to-do list!

Sticking to the same agenda each week makes each meeting UBER productive!

The Level 10 Meeting structure - right every time!

There are 7 parts to a Level 10 Meeting Agenda. Sometimes that’s a tough ask, especially when a lot is going on or a major week in the office.

It can be tempting to add a little extra time to an agenda item or over-index on one section. But remember: the sole purpose of a Level 10 Meeting is to understand the top issues stopping your company from reaching its vision.

Anything else is just noise.

Some weeks you may be able to cover ten issues. Others, it may only be three.

But as long as you’ve prioritized your issues, understood them, and solved them — that’s progress.

So, 90 minutes on the clock — let’s meet! ⏲️

  1. Check in – 5 minutes

This is where everyone in the meeting takes turns sharing a personal and professional update. It’s a great way to build team cohesion and get everyone on the same page.

Since 2019, we’ve been bombarded with bad news. 91% of the news we’ve been reading is likely negative.

Start your Level 10 Meeting off on the right foot by sharing:

  1. A point of personal good news
  2. Some professional good news


Because with personal news, you’re allowing humanity into your meeting, and you’re getting to know and trust your team.🤩

2. KPI Checkin – 5 minutes

This is where you review your key metrics and data points to see how you’re tracking towards your goals. It’s like a progress report, but way more exciting.

Every company has KPIs, OKRs, MBOs, KRAs. The basic principle is the same, whichever oh-so-catchy acronym you decide to go with.

You have something you want to achieve, milestones to get there, and a way to track and measure your progress.

Whether you’re on target to achieve your vision comes down to data and metrics. And your Level 10 Meeting is an excellent way of keeping everybody who needs to know in the know.

But you gotta be quick about it, so make sure you have your numbers ready beforehand and comment on insights rather than just the numbers.

3. Rock review – 5 minutes

Remember those SMART rocks? Well this is the time to review them.

Rocks are the 3 -7 most important goals for every quarter.

By sticking as close to three per quarter as possible, you’re increasing your focus and, with it, the likelihood you’ll achieve your Rocks.

4. People Headlines

This one’s pretty simple. If there are any major customer or employee call-outs, good or bad, now’s the time to mention them.

5. The Level 10 Meeting to-do List – 5 minutes

Your to-do list is the main constant between your meetings each week. It also adds the accountability factor, so it’s pretty crucial in achieving the growth you’re after.

After each meeting, your attendees have seven days to go away and complete their action items. So please make sure they’re SMART, incentivized, and prioritized, so the important ones are always tackled first and executed by the next meeting.

6. The issues at hand list 🕵️ – 60 minutes

Eat your issues for breakfast!

By focusing on issues, you’ll find that problem-solving becomes a way of life!

60 minutes seems like a lot but it can fly by if you’re not conscious and focused on solving the issues at hand.

But by adopting a growth mindset, you’re sure to turn every issue into an opportunity.

This mindset allows individuals to approach problem-solving with a sense of curiosity, openness, and flexibility and to be willing to try new approaches and strategies.

By contrast, a fixed mindset, where individuals believe that their abilities and intelligence are fixed and cannot be changed, can hinder problem-solving skills. This mindset can lead to a fear of failure and a tendency to give up quickly when faced with challenges or obstacles.

Having a growth mindset helps individuals stay motivated and focused on finding solutions, even when the path forward is not immediately clear. 

At Whale 🐳 we we discuss issues in our meetings, we state the issue, give context and give ideas to solve the problem before discussing each issue with the rest of the team.

7. Wrap up – 5 minutes ⏰

With 5 minutes remaining, it’s important to sign off by:

  1. Recapping the to-do list.
  2. Planning how to filter the meetings points down to the rest of the organization.
  3. Rating the meeting between 1 – 10 (10 being the best).

Ding ding! 🛎️

And congrats! That’s a wrap!

By now, you’ll have achieved so much more than any half-day conference or hefty email chain. And with a few core processes penned down, you’ll be ready to remove the bottlenecks from your business and watch that revenue soar even further.

The key to ultimate Level 10 Meeting productivity: Process🚀

At Whale, we’re ALL about process! If you don’t have a process it isn’t repeatable and it can’t be a lever in your business.

So there’s one final thing to think about before you send out those Level 10 Meeting invites: the processes you’ll need to succeed.

By identifying and documenting your Level 10 Meetings processes, you have the opportunity to use your SOPs to boost your ROI tangibly.

Do it right, and each department, team, and project group can host their uber-efficient Level 10 Meeting — cutting the problem-solving time down at every level and maximizing your resources and shared knowledge across the business.

Ready to document your Level 10 Meeting SOPs? Start here:

  1. Sending the invite: What’s the process for selecting a time, date, attendees, venue, equipment, roles, etc.?
  2. How to write an uplifting segue: As a company, what’s the process for deciding what to share here and how to share it?
  3. Consider your scorecard metrics: What process should employees go through to choose the metrics to focus on?
  4. Decide your Rocks by asking: What is the process for determining quarterly Rocks?
  5. Writing the to-do list: What format should it take? Where is it stored? Who owns it?
  6. How to IDS® to impress: What format should your issues conversation take? What is the process for dealing with debate? Where should notes be stored?
  7. Sharing: What is the process for cascading a meeting summary to the organization?
  8. Meeting rating: What is the process for rating a meeting?
  9. The what-ifs: What if an attendee can’t come? What if your score is below 8? What if you repeatedly go over time? What processes do you have in place?

The right processes, documented in the right place, and easily accessible to all means your Level 10 Meetings can be easily scaled company-wide.