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Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business Hardcover – March 4, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
“The author is something of a master of the modern fable….” (Professional Manager, Vol.13, No.6, November 2004)
“…pitches his theory neatly at busy readers by opening with an executive summary.” (Supply Management, 8 July 2004)
"Highly recommended: you could even take it to your next meeting." (On Target, September 2007)
Top Customer Reviews
The book, like his previous ones, is cleverly structured in two large parts: The Fable and The Model. The first part lays out a sort of novel, where the characters could pretty much be you and me, taking part in management meetings in our own companies, and tells the story of how implementing his methodology (brought about by a "consultant in disguise", impersonated by the CEO's personal assistant) helped put the company's steering team out of its meeting "misery", by turning their meetings into a satisfactory and productive experience that they started looking forward to from then on.
The second part summarizes the methodology presented in The Fable, in a more general context, by introducing the four types of meeting he advocates:
-Monthly Strategic (or Ad Hoc Strategic)
-Quarterly Off-site Review
Even if you think you are effective at managing your meetings, I highly recommend that you give "Death By Meeting" a read. It won't take more than 2 hours of your time, and it will provide you and your team with benefits to reap for life. Disregard at your own managerial risk!
The parable reads well enough and early on reminded me of John Cleese's marvelous training film, "Meetings, bloody meetings." The original video was so good when it was made almost thirty years ago that Video Arts updated it -- with almost the exact same script and several of the same actors-- ten years ago. "Death" is more current. But Cleese in both versions got it right, better, and funnier than Lencioni. He viewed team meetings as akin to a court proceeding or a trial. The analogy worked.
Effective meetings need critical thinking, not groupthink. The Senate report on the CIA is only the most recent example of no one taking a critical stance as partial information and unreliable data accumulate. But conflict does not seem to be the appropriate remedy for premature or inappropriate consensus. Lencioni is right: Real consensus is difficult if not impossible. But constructive critical thinking is better than conflict (or obsessives off their meds) to make a meeting effective and "interesting".Read more ›
How many time's have you heard the term, "I can't get anything done because I'm always in meetings." Sounds logical right? Not so, says Lencioni. He precedes to show us through his fable that what's needed is a paradigm shift on how we think about meetings. Meetings aren't problems, they are opporturnities. Meetings don't have to be a death walk, they can inspire, challenge, and bring problems out in the open to be wrestled to the ground and resolved.
In my view, the power of Lencioni's principles are in their simplicity. How many times have you waded through a business book and found yourself inspired only to forget half the of 20 "principles" and so called recipes for success. Lencioni's principles are simple enough that they are both easily grasped and memorable.
The challenge for readers of "Death by Meeting" teachings is that Lencioni provides little beyond the basic framework. He gives few suggestions for implementation, and does not warn of pitfalls or discuss the implications of company culture and barriers that might arise. His message is in affect, here's the framework -- now get to it.
That's a tough pill to swallow for readers who find very few similarities between the company and the leaders depicted in the story and their own situation. But I'd argue that this isn't a valid excuse to let the book gather dust on the shelf. Those who go forward boldly may soon find that they'll create their own fable with a happy ending.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The greatest thing about Patrick's books is that they are approachable. I firmly believe that approaching these sorts of OD issues through storytelling is the best options for the... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Tom Bux
Such a practical look at the time we spend in meetings and how to ensure that we get the most out of them.Published 22 days ago by intriguedingr
Weak story followed up by only OK ideas. Could have been on a flyer and driven home the same points.Published 1 month ago by BAN
The book contained several good ideas on structuring meetings and how to use meetings to resolve the challenges and opportunities that every organization faces.Published 1 month ago by John C.
This is a great book about running a meeting and getting the staff engaged! Was clearly written in true Patrick Lencioni style!!!Published 2 months ago by taggwg
I love that the author used a fable to make his points then explained them in constructive terms. The pitfalls to watch out for was also quite helpful.Published 3 months ago by Will
I liked the idea of meetings being so important and how the story presented that idea. A book that was to the point while still giving very relevant informationPublished 3 months ago by Paul
Purchased by the Chair of Pediatrics for attendees at a Leadership Meeting.Published 3 months ago by Cari Coelho