Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable
by Patrick Lencioni
In his latest page-turning work of business fiction, best-selling author Patrick Lencioni provides readers with another powerful and thought-provoking book, this one centered around a cure for the most painful yet underestimated problem of modern business: bad meetings. And what he suggests is both simple and revolutionary.
Casey McDaniel, the founder and CEO of Yip Software, is in the midst of a problem he created, but one he doesn’t know how to solve. And he doesn’t know where or who to turn to for advice. His staff can’t help him; they’re as dumbfounded as he is by their tortuous meetings.
Then an unlikely advisor, Will Peterson, enters Casey’s world and proposes an unconventional, even radical, approach to solving the meeting problem, namely adding CONFLICT to the meetings.
Will challenges the team to look at meetings the way we view movies…and good movies have conflict, resolution, drama and context. He recommends the following types of meetings:
- News Bulletin or Daily Check-in: 5 minute stand-up meeting with the entire team to discuss schedules and pressing deadlines. See The Huddle.
- Sitcom or Weekly Tactical: 60 minute sit-down meeting with the entire time reporting on two or three major issues, 60 seconds per person. Then the team develops the agenda for the remaining 45 minutes on the spot.
- Feature Film or Monthly Strategic: 2 hour meeting with the entire team discussing two or three key topics. Individuals come prepared with data, anecdotes and pertinent research, ready to “duke it out” if necessary.
- Mini-series or Quarterly Retreat: 2 day offsite meeting with the team dedicated to critical conversations about: the competition, team dynamics, morale, top performers, customer satisfaction… things that can’t be covered in the monthly or weekly meetings.
As in his other books, Lencioni provides a framework for his groundbreaking model, and makes it applicable to the real world. Death by Meeting is nothing short of a blueprint for leaders who want to eliminate waste and frustration among their teams, and create environments of engagement and passion.
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