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Showing 1-10 of 230 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 334 reviews
on February 7, 2015
Similar to Patrick previous book, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, this book is written as a novel which is used to build the framework of Patrick’s vision on how and when meetings should be conducted. It is at times somewhat distracting or less easy to digest, depending on your taste of novels. It is not something I found to be greatly enhancing the overall information Patrick is trying to disperse.
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!
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on August 19, 2016
The book is more of a novel than anything else, which does a good job of building characters that you care about, only so that the author can illustrate his key points, which are further highlighted at the back of the book.

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: [...]
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VINE VOICEon November 30, 2011
This is easy to admit--I cannot improve on Patrick Lencioni's fast-reading, get-the-four-big-ideas-immediately book. So, I'll just quote him in this review.

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.
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on July 10, 2015
I finally decided to read this book and I'm glad I did. The "case history" format made it interesting to read and created a story as the context for the principles to be demonstrated. The first part is the story, the second part presents the model: Separate meetings for different purposes. Create drama by encouraging debate over decisions.
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on June 3, 2014
At first, I didn't think I'd be interested in reading a fictional "fable" about death by meetings. I wanted to just dive into how to fix things. However, this is NOT the way to read this book. I needed the "set-up." I'm nearly finished with the "set-up" and I'm now ready to find out how to fix specific problems with our meeting(s) format. The objections raised by staff members in the fictional fable and the ways that they were met have already helped me to "fix" some of our problems. While I do not always direct the meetings, I often have a chance to do so, and these meetings run well. I am also sharing the ideas in this book and recommending it to my girls who are in management. In fact, my co-workers and friends in the "business" have probably grown tired of my "sharing" by now! Great book and great ideas. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that my girls and I are "movie geeks!"
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on June 13, 2012
The title, "Death by Meeting," really spoke to me as someone who has experienced my share of really bad meetings. Patrick Lencioni presents a compelling structure for meetings based around the concept of storytelling. Great ideas; his meeting structure could eliminate many bad meetings.

In terms of criticism, I thought the fable part of the book was mediocre. A mediocre story line is kind of ironic given the fact that the premise of the book revolves around effective storytelling.

I did enjoy the book, but I would have been just as happy with a one-page outline of the meeting structure. I would not recommend this book for someone without enough patience to enjoy the slow development of the ideas -- they would get more value from a one-page outline. I would recommend this book for someone who wants to savor the concepts and retains information better when it is dramatized. I'd also recommend it to anyone who wants to improve the quality of meetings.
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on April 28, 2017
I've restructured my team's meetings to match the recommendations in this book and I'm appreciating the difference it is making already.
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on February 15, 2006
Patrick Lencioni's parable regarding How To & How Not To Conduct Meetings is not Stephen King or Agatha Christie, actually it reminds this Boomer of the semi-preachy long ago Saturday morning escapades of Davey and Goliath, but it does aptly, although rather long-about after 217 pages, illustrate the remaining 36 pages of actual Model of how to make meetings more meaningful and productive: Conflict is Good - Consensus is Horrible (at some stages.) We will definitely be implementing this approach and wonder, then, if Gumby and Pokey will attend the newly restructured meetings? /TundraVision, Amazon Reviewer
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on May 16, 2017
One of the discs skipped. Ended up returning this.
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on September 29, 2013
This book was very fun to read and, in it, Patrick Lencioni put forward some ideas for leading meetings that seem quite useful and I have integrated many of them into my staff meetings with favorable results. I really enjoy how Lencioni is able to effectively teach through his "leadership fables" and make learning lessons more enjoyable than reading a 100-page lecture on what to improve.

Do read this book if you have to organize or execute meetings in your organisation, be it daily, weekly, or monthly meetings. You stand to gain some ideas from this book that will pump new life into your meetings.
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