Do your people need to come to you for every little thing? Try implementing a Daily Huddle.


John Nieuwenburg

John Nieuwenburg has been a professional business coach since 2004. Prior to becoming a coach, he held executive positions with Tip Top Tailors and BC Liquor Stores. In 2019, MacKay CEO Forums awarded him with Canada’s CEO Trusted Advisor Award in the Small Business category. Since becoming a coach, John has worked with over 350 clients, taking them through a systematic process that helps them feel organized, confident and in control of their businesses.

Let me tell you about Fred.

When I started coaching Fred, he was the equivalent of the only air traffic controller at the airport.

Nothing happened unless somebody talked to Fred.

Fred felt frustrated because no one would take initiative on their own. Instead, they would come to him with questions.

To some extent, he had trained them to do that. If anyone had a question or any doubt about something, they knew that if they wanted to avoid “the wrath of Fred” for doing it wrong, they should ask first.

Fred needed to shift his leadership from a “hub and spokes” model where he was the centre of everything to a new structure where his staff could get work done without his direct involvement.

Most people think that leadership is about vision.

True leadership is getting everyone on the same page, pulling in the same direction.

To do this, you need to implement a team meeting rhythm – something that Verne Harnish discusses in his book Mastering the Rockerfeller Habits.

A great team meeting rhythm includes a Daily Huddle

Your team meeting rhythm consists of annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily meetings.

Of all of these, the one that matters most (especially if you can relate to Fred’s situation) is the Daily Huddle.

The Daily Huddle is a 10 – 15-minute stand-up meeting with 3 parts:

  • What’s the news: what are the KPIs? How did you do yesterday? What got done? What didn’t get done?
  • What’s on tap: what does everyone need to do?
  • What’s stuck: where are the bottlenecks? What needs to be solved so that we can reach our goals for the day?

Daily Huddles begin with the team on the floor and cascade upward through your managers so that ultimately, you’ve got a handle on all the issues that exist throughout the business.

Daily Huddles work best when you focus on the specific

Avoid generalities!

Daily Huddles break down when people give responses like “I’m going to do the same thing today as I did yesterday.”

You need to drill down into each person’s specifics.

You might ask your sales team about who they are calling and what they expect the results to be. You can ask your shipping people about what’s going out today.

This is a chance for everyone on the team to see how things fit together so that results can be delivered.

So, let’s look at where Fred is today.

Fred spends an hour at the gym every morning.

His phone isn’t ringing and pinging and dinging because everyone is on track and he knows what is going on.

He’s gone from spending 60 or 70 hours a week at the plant (sometimes sleeping there) – to having a regular life where he can go out for happy hour on Friday with his friends.

Implementing the team meeting rhythm – the Daily Huddle in particular – was an integral part of getting Fred’s business to the place where his team could run it without him.

Team Meeting Rhythm is one of the 22 Silver Bullets I use in my coaching program to help you create a business that runs smoothly, profitably and (mostly) without you.

If you’d like some help doing the same in your business, I invite you to book a call to discuss coaching. You can do that here: book a 15-minute call with John

The Ultimate Guide to Scaling Your Business

w5 what does it mean to scale your business

How to grow your business without sacrificing time freedom

This post is part of my Ultimate Guide to Scaling Your Business. Visit the guide homepage to get my best advice and coaching exercises to help you:

  • Develop systems and processes to free up your time
  • Hire and manage a great team to run your business (mostly) without you
  • Make the mindset changes that enable you to grow your business bigger - faster than you dreamed possible