Season 4 Episode 17: Are “Players Only Meetings” Effective?

Season 4 Episode 17: Are “Players Only Meetings” Effective?
Season 4 Episode 17: Are “Players Only Meetings” Effective?

Every team goes through conflict, adversity and times when they need to have conversations that are the currency for change. But, are “Players Only Meetings” truly effective? It all depends on how they are led and executed for effectiveness.

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1:47 – Jason introduces Season 4 episode 17 of the podcast. Welcome back to the podcast on corporate culture and leadership and thank you for listening. We engage thought leaders like CEOs, CFOs, managers, VPs, directors, and more for this podcast. We wish to create content that engages your mind and heart and allows you to step back and think and add some positivity to your life. This podcast is about “players-only” meetings, are they effective?

2:30 – Please leave a review for the podcast

3:40 – We can’t control everything but what we can control is our response. Still a lot of work to do but wanted to remind the audience what is within our control is the temperature we create in the organizations and teams we work with. If you have a suggestion, please send to

4:15 – Today Jason goes into a deep-dive on players-only meeting. Are they successful, what they are, and how can they be optimized

6:24 – Jason shares a story of when he played college basketball at Denison University. During one intense practice, his coach screamed at all the players to get off the court. His frustration carried to all the players and the captain of the team yelled to everyone, “players-only meeting now in the locker room!”. What followed by that team captain was shocking to Jason and something that he will always remember.

We have to create space for everyone on the team to participate

10:35 – The team captain says, “you guys better…” from then Jason knew that he was distancing himself from what had just happened. Not using the words “we” or “us”, it was all the other players’ fault. These remarks left an impression on Jason who shares his insights on how teams and organizations can use this to improve as what should not be said in team meetings by this lack of leadership.

13:40 – Players-only meetings are not effective when the person calling the meeting isn’t owning it. Pointing fingers does not work as trust is lost throughout the entire team. It isn’t an open dialogue it then becomes about finger-pointing. There are moments where we need a courageous conversation.

16:34 – What are the elements of players-only meetings that do work, that are effective? Jason shares his insights on how to help teams to move back in the right direction. They work when the leader calling the meeting recognizes that the thermostat needs to be re-calibrated. Often they involve a sense of urgency. Studying change theory is important, which we go over in the 6 A’s podcast episode here. 

20:30 – Recalibrate the thermostat and get back to the mission, why are we here in the first place? What is the vision, where are we trying to go? What is the future we are trying to create together? How are we committed to working together? What are the values of our team? If we forget or lose sight of the vision we need to recalibrate that thermostat around the why, the where, and the how, then we are ready to have those conversations for change. Finally, what is our strategy? What is within our control? What is the game plan for how we are going to move next? Powerful words here from Jason. The best players-only meetings aren’t disconnected from the coach. They are when the players themselves are taking ownership and being honest to connect with the vision and values and the mission at hand.

27:30 – Linkner gives some prime examples of using creativity to drive outcomes in business. They talk about using a sense of artistry in sales or your business to drive sales or results.

31:05 – Jason and Linkner talk about the impact of virtual engagements and ask Linkner about his thoughts on sharing virtually. Working virtually allows people to touch more people and share their wisdom with more people but there are limitations vs being in person. This is the new normal and the impacts virtual events have are undeniable to affect more lives.

Questions to ponder:

  1. When was the last time that a players-only meeting was needed or that you were a part of?
  2. How or why was it effective or not?
  3. How could you help facilitate players-only meetings, and reset the thermostat around why are you doing it, the vision, the mission? What are the next actions and steps forward to achieve it together?

Recalibrate the thermostat and get back to the mission, why are we here in the first place? What is the vision, where are we trying to go?

If you like the podcast, have a question, or just want to share your thoughts about daring to begin please leave a comment below or please leave a review on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.


Conversations and micro-thoughts to engage your mind and heart.

A thermostat is proactive. It sets the temperature in a room. Controls the temperature. Regulates the temperature. But in today’s distracted, fast-paced and digital world, it’s easy for individuals and organizations to act more like thermometers, slipping into reactionary thinking, becoming scattered and inconsistent. The most compelling leaders, teams, organizations, families or collection of humans of any kind operate in thermostat mode. They calibrate their mind and heart to set the temperature for the vision and culture they want to create. Jason Barger, globally celebrated author, keynote speaker, and founder of Step Back Leadership Consulting, is the host of The Thermostat, a podcast journey to discover authentic leadership, create compelling cultures and find clarity of mission, vision, and values.