The ICE Meeting

This was the idea, Bill Z’s idea: Two hours, every week. Friday afternoon. We’d stop what we were doing and gather together in a conference room. Bill would talk. Lunch would be served. One of us would make a presentation about their job and how they did it. Bill would talk some more. Visionary stuff. The company’s mission and how we were accomplishing it or how we were going astray and if so, a discussion on the best way to get back on track.

I thought it was a terrible idea.

Two hours a week! That was four percent of my week. And I wouldn’t get a ‘normal’ lunch, so no time away from the office to just breathe and think. And after the first round of presentations, when everyone had been rotated through, what would anyone talk about anyway?

I ended up being right. And oh so wrong. The presentations themselves, the first round at least, were mostly pretty dull. Bill and the two senior sales guys Marc and Jay were used to speaking at our roadshows. The rest of us were rank amatuers. Hiding yawns was the hardest part.

Here’s what happened: I got to learn firsthand that, if you challenge motivated people to make presentations a few times a year? Most of them will get better. Much better. You don’t suppose that having a sales-driven firm full of accomplished presenters is a good thing, do you?

So in three or four years we had a team full of public speakers. Our roadshow events got better. A lot better.

First time I got on stage in front of 100+ people. Yeah, I was nervous. But not too bad. After all, I’d been practicing for years.

But that doesn’t even begin to describe the benefits LifePro has reaped from that simple idea of Bill’s, which became known as our weekly ‘ICE Meeting’ (I have no idea what ICE stands for).

The idea of gathering together to break bread. Old as the hills, right? Well there’s a reason for that. I’ve seen it firsthand. The respect you develop for the people you eat with. It goes beyond nutrition.

Later, when I managed my own team, I found I took an enormous pride in how my people did. We pushed each other to get better and better.