CEO One-on-Ones that Work

CEO One-on-Ones That Work

One of the best tools a CEO can use to lead and drive performance is a One-on-One meeting. This simple and important meeting is where the CEO gives undivided attention to each of their Direct Reports in a consistent and scheduled manner.  One-on-Ones focus on discussing topics that are important and not urgent.  Although One-on-Ones are simple they are NOT easy to execute and many smart CEOs struggle with One-on-Ones.  Here’s a simple approach to conducting excellent One-on-Ones:

1. Meet with each of your Direct Reports two times per month for 60 to 90 minutes.

2. Conduct a Development One-on-One on a monthly basis. The focus of the Development One-on-One is the Direct Report, their development, and their life goals.  The Development One-on-One should feel and look different than the Business One-on-One with discussion topics including:

    •  What are your life goals?
    • What does success look like for you outside of work?
    • How is your work life balance?
    • What are your professional development goals?
    • How are your development plans coming along?
    • How is your job satisfaction?
    • Sharing “bits of brilliance” that you as the CEO have observed over the last month

3. Conduct a Business One-on-One on a monthly basis. The Business One-on-One focuses on business information that is important and NOT urgent. The Business One-on-One is a focused update on the company, department performance, team member development, etc.    The format and agenda of the Business One-on-One is jointly designed by you and your Direct Report and involves discussions around:

  •  Updates on projects
  • What can be expected for next month?
  • Identification and removal of barriers that hinder the company and/or the department
  • Review performance metrics, quotas, or project updates
  • Review and become familiar with the performance of their direct reports
  • Recognize Achievements

 To receive a paper on conducting excellent CEO One-on-Ones, email me at 

If you would like additional information on this topic,We'll Provide the Answers

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Comments are closed.