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Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business (J-B Lencioni Series Book 19) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 256 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
- File Size : 792 KB
- Publication Date : July 23, 2007
- Print Length : 256 pages
- Publisher : Jossey-Bass; 1st Edition (July 23, 2007)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B008L03W7O
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #44,207 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Casey is a former semi-pro golfer who starts a game development studio creating golf simulations. His company is acquired, and told that his business can remain autonomous, but only if they improve their performance, now that they are a public company.
Casey, unable to realize how poorly structured and useless his meetings were, hires Will, a 20-something who just finished his MBA and is looking to improve the company's meetings. In doing so, he learns a bit about the business, and how to engage co-workers.
Overall, I found the story to do a suitable job of illustrating the author's key points. If you want to get to the bottom of the book, you can really read the last 10 pages or so, which can also be found on the author's site: [...]
Every one involved in an organization that holds meetings should read and apply this.
Patrick’s adagio on meetings is best set by his so-called hard truth: “bad meetings almost always lead to bad decisions, which is the best recipe for mediocrity”. Most companies today have some form of policies guiding the basic conduct of meetings but fewer have a documented framework within which the different meetings are place. Patrick’s book might provide some useful tuning and/or some new ideas to the more seasoned managers. However, I would argue that the book is more useful to the junior employees entering their corporate careers. It will give them a basic handle on where to place their input and understand where and how some of the decisions (ideally) have been or will be made. If you don’t like the story approach, skip to the end and look at the meeting framework Patrick outlines as a summary. That does the job too!
But first...here's a Pop Quiz! Everyone stand up. OK...now remain standing if your job requires you to attend at least one meeting a week. OK...now remain standing if you are in a minimum of five meetings a week (staff meeting, one-on-one meetings, etc.). I know...everyone is still standing. But now...remain standing if you have ever read a book, attended a workshop, viewed a webinar or had coaching on effective meetings management. (Anyone still standing?)
My top book pick in my "Meetings Bucket" is this book--but I've never fully reviewed it here. So...listen to Lencioni talk about "Sneaker Time" (pages 251-252):
"Most executives I know spend hours sending email, leaving voice mail, and roaming the halls to clarify issues that should have been made clear during a meeting in the first place. But no one accounts for this the way they do when they add up time spent in meetings.
"I have no doubt that sneaker time is the most subtle, dangerous, and underestimated black hole in corporate America. To understand it, it is helpful to take a quick look at the basic geometry of an executive team within the context of an organization.
"Consider that an executive team with just seven people has twenty-one combinations of one-to-one relationships that have to be maintained in order to keep people on the same page. That alone is next to impossible for a human being to track.
"But when you consider the dozens of employees down throughout the organization who report to those seven and who need to be on the same page with one another, the communication challenge increases dramatically, as does the potential for wasting time and energy. And so, when we fail to get clarity and alignment during meetings, we set in motion a colossal wave of human activity as executives and their direct reports scramble to figure out what everyone else is doing and why.
"Remarkably, because sneaker time is mixed in with everything else we do during the day, we fail to see it as a single category of wasted time. It never ceases to amaze me when I see executives checking their watches at the end of a meeting and lobbying the CEO for it to end so they can `go do some real work.' In so many cases, the `real work' they're referring to is going back to their offices to respond to e-mail and voice mail that they've received only because so many people are confused about what needs to be done.
"It's as if the executives are saying, 'Can we wrap this up so I can run around and explain to people what I never explained to them after the last meeting?' It is at once shocking and understandable that intelligent people cannot see the correlation between failing to take the time to get clarity, closure, and buy-in during a meeting, and the time required to clean up after themselves as a result."
Whoa! That hits close to home! Good stuff. So get the book, read his leadership fable (in the classic Lencioni style) and begin religiously implementing his four kinds of meetings: 1) Daily Check-in, 2) Weekly Tactical, 3) Monthly Strategic and 4) Quarterly Off-site Review.
Top reviews from other countries
This will appeal to anyone who has struggled though a meeting and walked away wondering what they got out of it. It will also appeal to those who have run such meetings.
Consider this tale a timely reminder that trying to achieve too much in one place often means that not much is achieved. Through focusing on what is realistic, and not being afraid of conflict, meetings can be productive sessions that drive business forward and improve colleague relationships.
I am currently working through how I can improve the participation and outcomes from my regular team meeting.
If you need to improve meetings you run, or those that you are part of then this book will give you very helpful ideas to do it, and a fable to use to explain your reasons as you try to take colleagues with you.