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Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...about Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business

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"Casey McDaniel had never been so nervous in his life." "In just ten minutes, The Meeting, as it would forever be known, would begin. Casey had every reason to believe that his performance over the next two hours would determine the fate of his career, his financial future, and the company he had built from scratch." ""How could my life have unraveled so quickly?" he "Casey McDaniel had never been so nervous in his life." "In just ten minutes, The Meeting, as it would forever be known, would begin. Casey had every reason to believe that his performance over the next two hours would determine the fate of his career, his financial future, and the company he had built from scratch." ""How could my life have unraveled so quickly?" he wondered." 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. When he proposes an unconventional, even radical, approach to solving the meeting problem, Casey is just desperate enough to listen. 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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"Casey McDaniel had never been so nervous in his life." "In just ten minutes, The Meeting, as it would forever be known, would begin. Casey had every reason to believe that his performance over the next two hours would determine the fate of his career, his financial future, and the company he had built from scratch." ""How could my life have unraveled so quickly?" he "Casey McDaniel had never been so nervous in his life." "In just ten minutes, The Meeting, as it would forever be known, would begin. Casey had every reason to believe that his performance over the next two hours would determine the fate of his career, his financial future, and the company he had built from scratch." ""How could my life have unraveled so quickly?" he wondered." 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. When he proposes an unconventional, even radical, approach to solving the meeting problem, Casey is just desperate enough to listen. 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.

30 review for Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...about Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business

  1. 5 out of 5

    Parcoast

    Pros for this title are easy to come up with: It was a quick read. The information is easily consumable. The resulting recommendation is fairly specific and easy to implement. The concept behind this strategy for your meetings seems solid. Cons are that the information, while easy to test, does not seem to come from any sort of empirical source. Most of it sounds like Lencioni conjured it up from nothing. I'm OK with that, since that is how I have come up with some of my best work, but it is an Pros for this title are easy to come up with: It was a quick read. The information is easily consumable. The resulting recommendation is fairly specific and easy to implement. The concept behind this strategy for your meetings seems solid. Cons are that the information, while easy to test, does not seem to come from any sort of empirical source. Most of it sounds like Lencioni conjured it up from nothing. I'm OK with that, since that is how I have come up with some of my best work, but it is an easy criticism for a business book. The strategy sounds good, but will require some tweaking, I think to work in various situations, and I don't think it provides an end-to-end solution to business woes, or even challenges with making your meetings effective. If I were to sum up the message of the book in a way that I could stand behind it 100%, it would be: "If you want your meetings to be more effective, and ultimate contribute to the bottom line of your business, then introduce healthy conflict within a light weight structure. Let the attendees emotion be the driving energy behind good decisions and business success."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brian Cassada

    It was a good book with great intentions. I think the allegory that the information was set upon was good and applicable. However, I found that it got in the way for me. I read for growth and information. I was looking for the information to come to light and had to wait until the end. Everything the book was about could have been summed up in 5 or 6 pages.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Thelma

    "Death by Meeting" was my first Lencioni book and I am definitely a fan. Having seen him first at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit when he was a last-minute fill-in for Howard Schultz of Starbucks, I was immediately impressed by his humor and insights. I wasn't surprised that he was invited back the following year and again this year for the 2013 lineup. The book is an engaging tale on what spells the difference between meetings that are alive and dead. Do not expect a linear narrative; "Death by Meeting" was my first Lencioni book and I am definitely a fan. Having seen him first at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit when he was a last-minute fill-in for Howard Schultz of Starbucks, I was immediately impressed by his humor and insights. I wasn't surprised that he was invited back the following year and again this year for the 2013 lineup. The book is an engaging tale on what spells the difference between meetings that are alive and dead. Do not expect a linear narrative; it is a "fairy tale" if you will, set in a modern-day conference room where managers at a make-believe company go through the motions of ineffective meetings that lead to nowhere in the name of productivity. One could skip these parts and go straight to the points highlighted in the last section of the book, but you would totally miss out on the illustration the first part lends. Our management team implemented the strategies we learned from "Death By Meeting" at the start of the year, and I must admit, in my experience, we are not only tighter as a team, we are more productive and efficient at getting things done. I highly recommend teams read and discuss this book together to truly get the most out of it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Luis

    Love it. The fable was great: short and entertaining. The learnings are even greater. If meetings are part of what you do at your job then you'll learn something from this book. How to act during meetings or how to split them by context

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    "Meetings are boring" (223). "Meetings are ineffective" (223). BINGO. "Meetings are boring because they lack drama" (224). "Meetings are ineffective because they lack contextual structure" (224). "Because there is no clarity around what topics are appropriate, there is no clear context for the various discussions that take place. In the end, little is decided because the participants have a hard time figuring out whether they're supposed to be debating, voting, brainstorming, weighing in, or just "Meetings are boring" (223). "Meetings are ineffective" (223). BINGO. "Meetings are boring because they lack drama" (224). "Meetings are ineffective because they lack contextual structure" (224). "Because there is no clarity around what topics are appropriate, there is no clear context for the various discussions that take place. In the end, little is decided because the participants have a hard time figuring out whether they're supposed to be debating, voting, brainstorming, weighing in, or just listening" (224). BULLSEYE. "...bad meetings exact a toll on the human beings who must endure them, and this goes far beyond mere momentary dissatisfaction. Bad meetings, and what they indicate and provoke in an organization, generate real human suffering in the form of anger, lethargy, and cynicism" (253). BAM! This fable was fun to read and enlightening. The author unequivocally advocates CONFLICT in meetings. While conflict is uncomfortable, I can hop on this BANDWAGON!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mike Moore

    Lencioni generally provides his business insights in a YA novel format, which works fairly well since it makes the books short and uncluttered by focusing on one narrative. However, in this book the business insights and the narrative seem disjointed. The story of Will, a bright young man lacking clear direction, is only connected to the point of making meetings better in the most tangential of ways. The model for meeting structure is good, but it only takes about 3 pages to cover it. The rest Lencioni generally provides his business insights in a YA novel format, which works fairly well since it makes the books short and uncluttered by focusing on one narrative. However, in this book the business insights and the narrative seem disjointed. The story of Will, a bright young man lacking clear direction, is only connected to the point of making meetings better in the most tangential of ways. The model for meeting structure is good, but it only takes about 3 pages to cover it. The rest of this book is disposable.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Kassing

    This was an interesting read. I would agree with most of what the author says. Especially the parts about meetings being life suckers that aren't contextually defined or lack passion. Meetings matter which means we should discuss things that matter in them.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andy Rodriguez

    I heard about this book from a mentor of mine and have wanted to read it for years. I'm glad I did. I want to take some of the ideas and incorporate the priorities of separate "meetings" into my life. I think it's good to know when to tackle something.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Fast read. I love the story method of approaching a leadership topic. Insightful and helpful if you are tired of meetings at your job. Not every idea will work for your context, but I have not seen a better philosophy on the topic so well communicated. Fast read. I love the “story” method of approaching a leadership topic. Insightful and helpful if you are tired of meetings at your job. Not every idea will work for your context, but I have not seen a better philosophy on the topic so well communicated.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    Like a lot the fable. Don't like the aftermath. Doesn't give much added value after the fable.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    Easy and quick to read, engaging and helps you make sense of what could otherwise be a very dull topic!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Julia Sandler

    This was recommended Death By Meetings by a peer, when I mentioned that our leadership meetings were feeling ineffective and confused. It's a quick read and offers some simple, easy to introduce structure. A good 'back to basics' for making meetings more effective.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tõnu Vahtra

    No doubt the best book I have read on meetings. I was already familiar with the concepts from other Lencioni books (The Advantage, Five Dysfunctions and others) but this one goes in depth with all the key elements of an efficient meeting. I will definitely try to implement these principles and structure in my teams as much as I'm able to. Two problems with meetings: *Meetings are boring because they lack drama or conflict (rather than mining for conflict most managers are focused on avoiding No doubt the best book I have read on meetings. I was already familiar with the concepts from other Lencioni books (The Advantage, Five Dysfunctions and others) but this one goes in depth with all the key elements of an efficient meeting. I will definitely try to implement these principles and structure in my teams as much as I'm able to. Two problems with meetings: *Meetings are boring because they lack drama or conflict (rather than mining for conflict most managers are focused on avoiding tensions and finishing meetings on time). *Meetings are ineffective because they lack contextual structure. Because there is no clarity around what topics are appropriate, there is no clear context for the various discussions that take place. In the end little is decided because the participants have hard time figuring out whether they're supposed to be debating, voting, brainstorming, weighing in or just listening. LACK OF DRAMA OR CONFLICT Meetings VS movies: *Meetings are interactive, movies are not. *Meetings are directly relevant to our lives, movies are not. THE HOOK. The key is to set up the plot form the outside (participants need to understand and appreciate what is at stake). MINING FOR CONFLICT AND REAL-TIME PERMISSION. Leader can minimize the discomfort and maximize the likelihood that conflict will continue by interrupting the participants and reminding them that what they are doing is good. LACK OF CONTEXTUAL STRUCTURE Meeting stew - the tendency to throw every type of issue that needs to be discussed into the same meeting, like a bad stew with too many random ingredients. THE FOUR MEETINGS 1) THE DAILY CHECK-IN requires that team members get together, standing up, for about five minutes every morning to report on their activities that day. Purpose is to help team members to avoid confusion about how priorities are translated into action on a regular basis. It provides as quick forum for ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks on a given day and that no one steps on anyone else's toes. Just as important, it helps eliminate the need for unnecessary and time consuming e-mail chains about schedule coordination. Challenge is to get team members to stick with it initially, long enough to make it part of their routine. Also keeping it to five minutes. 2) THE WEEKLY TACTICAL (45-90 minutes) Critical elements: The lightning round: Everyone indicates their 2-3 priorities for the week, it should take each member no more than one minute. Sets tone for the rest of the meeting. By giving all participants a real sense of the actual activities taking place in the organization, it makes it easy for the team to identify potential redundancies, gaps or other issues that require immediate attention. Progress review: routine reporting of critical information or metrics (revenue, expenses, customer satisfaction, inventory etc. ) Point is to get into the habit of reviewing progress relating to key metrics for success, but not every metric available (4-6 max). Should take max 5 minutes, lengthy discussions should be avoided. Real-time agenda: agenda should not be set before the meeting, but only after previous two rounds have taken place. Topics that need to be discussed should pop out. Mainly tactical issues that should be addressed to ensure that short-term objectives are not in jeopardy. Two overriding goals: resolution of issues and reinforcement of clarity. Obstacles need to be identified and removed, and everyone needs to be on the same page. Challenges that prevent proper implementation: *temptation to set an agenda ahead of time, either formally or informally *tendency for team members to go too much into details during the lightning round, causes others to lose interest, thus clouds the ability of the team to identify the right issues for discussion and resolution. *temptation to get into discussion about long-term strategic issues. There isn't enough time for that. The tendency of leaders to inappropriately reconsider strategic decisions when faced with inevitable tactical obstacles. Limiting weekly tactical meetings to specific, short-term topics requires people to focus on solving problems, rather than backing off on long-term decisions that have already been made. Key to overcoming this is discipline, taking strategic topics off the table and taking them to the monthly strategic meeting. 3)THE MONTHLY STRATEGIC MEETING The meeting where executives wrestle with, analyze, debate and decide upon critical issues (but only a few) that will affect the business in fundamental ways. Allow executives to dive into a given topic or two without the distractions of deadlines and tactical concerns. Advisable to schedule at least 2 hours per topic. Sometimes ad-hoc strategic meetings are also needed(the most important meeting that occurs in an organization). It demonstrates that an executive team knows how to identify those rare strategic issues that deserve immediate attention even at the expense of the urgent but less important tactical concerns that surface every day. Challenges: *failure to schedule enough time for them *putting too many items on the agenda *most executives have too many tactical and administrative items on their schedules *the failure to do research and preparation ahead of time *the fear of conflict 4)THE QUARTERLY OFF-SITE REVIEW Provide executives an opportunity to regularly step away from the daily, weekly and even monthly issues that occupy their attention, so they can review the business in a more holistic manner. Possible topics: *comprehensive strategy review. *team review (assess themselves and their behaviors as a team). *personnel review. Talking about the key employees within the organization, also poor performers. *competitive and industry review. Challenges: *tendency to over-burden and over-structure the meetings (tightly scheduled slide presentations and lengthy information sermons). *making those meetings too much of a boondoggle (exotic locations, travel, too many social activities etc). *inviting outsiders to to attend the meeting in the spirit of inclusivity, it is a very bad idea because it changes the team dynamic significantly (only exception is using outside facilitator who is trusted by the team). “When a group of intelligent people come together to talk about issues that matter, it is both natural and productive for disagreement to occur. Resolving those issues is what makes a meeting productive, engaging, even fun.” “To make meetings less boring, leaders must look for legitimate reasons to provoke and uncover relevant, constructive ideological conflict. By doing so, they’ll keep people engaged, which leads to more passionate discussions, and ultimately, to better decisions.” “Well, strategy. The competitive landscape. Morale. The dynamics of the executive team. Top performers. Bottom performers. Customer satisfaction. Pretty much everything that has a long-term impact on the success of the company. Stuff you just can’t cover in weekly or monthly meetings.”

  14. 4 out of 5

    Justin de la Cruz

    This is fiction book that tells a whole story just so the author can hit you with some practical knowledge about a certain subject. The subject here is business meetings: Lencioni has some good tips on how to conduct meetings - different types of meetings for different purposes, let conflict come out, don't plan for tactical meetings - but I didn't need an entire story about an ex-golfer-turned-manager, filled with completely flat characters to get these tips. The appendices included (that come This is fiction book that tells a whole story just so the author can hit you with some practical knowledge about a certain subject. The subject here is business meetings: Lencioni has some good tips on how to conduct meetings - different types of meetings for different purposes, let conflict come out, don't plan for tactical meetings - but I didn't need an entire story about an ex-golfer-turned-manager, filled with completely flat characters to get these tips. The appendices included (that come after the fable), coupled with a few pages from the main narrative could be made into a very strong and precise article-length treatment on how to make business meetings better.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Piotr Uryga

    This is one of the books that are giving perspective on most dreaded topic of corporate world: meetings. Funny thing is it advertise to have more of them and even though it's counterintuitive it makes sense. Simple division based on context and not mixing tactical day by day topics with strategy changes is something that makes all the sense. On top of it, it's fable with real characters which for me is always refreshing and more enjoyable to read / listen.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Liza Fireman

    Lencioni is a good storyteller as usual. He compares meetings to entertainment - movies, sitcoms, breaking new and mini series. He explains how much conflict is important and the necessary separation between the different types of meetings and all with his engaging fables. If your meetings are boring and you would look at the clock anticipating the end of the meeting you should read this book. And in general, I would recommend all of his books. Definitely worth the time reading.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marjorie Elwood

    I'm not sure why business authors feel compelled to write book-long fables instead of concise articles about their ideas, but at least this one has some compelling thoughts about how to make meetings more useful, interesting, and profitable to the organization. You can skip to the end of the book, where Lencioni delineates his suggestions.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chase Dougherty

    Great book for certain people Phenomenal writer who is great at capturing the internal thoughts people have in life. I felt like I was literally in the room for some of the moments. However, I almost wish I would have just read the last chapter and went on with life haha. Time is precious!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Vikram Chalana

    Awesome book about how to make meetings more interesting. Meetings are a super important part of the job for most business folks -- we all need to learn how to make these meetings better -- both as an attendee and as a meeting leader. Key to good meetings, in one word --- Drama!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    At first, I was not into the fact that this was a fable.... However, as the story progressed, I found myself interested. It was a quick read with some good takeaways on different types of meetings, the goals of each, and the role that leaders should play in making the meetings worthwhile.

  21. 4 out of 5

    David

    Great lessons for preparing meetings. The leadership fable is well-written and engaging and the meeting model, although not necessarily applicable to all business models and organizations certainly introduces some issues that can (and probably should) be addressed by any organization.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Excellent book. Should be required for everyone at the management level.

  23. 5 out of 5

    John Browning

    Such a true book. Read it and apply it. No other words necessary.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ernesto Salce

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I think is a very good book with very good insights about meeting management. Indeed, it is unique in comparison to what I have already read. It is easy and engaging to be read. I realy liked it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Liz S

    Painfully outdated and 200 pages too long. Felt like being in a bad meeting about meetings.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mindy

    I hope to see the meetings at work improve to be like the meetings in the book. I want to be going to interesting and fun meetings too. A great meeting would be everyone engaged and comfortable to throw out their ideas and thoughts on every possible concern, improvement, and solution to each issue. Next, discuss the plan and everyone's roles and responsibilities to make it happen. Issues are best uncovered, dealt and resolved at meetings where they are placed on the table to be wrestled with I hope to see the meetings at work improve to be like the meetings in the book. I want to be going to interesting and fun meetings too. A great meeting would be everyone engaged and comfortable to throw out their ideas and thoughts on every possible concern, improvement, and solution to each issue. Next, discuss the plan and everyone's roles and responsibilities to make it happen. Issues are best uncovered, dealt and resolved at meetings where they are placed on the table to be wrestled with debates and disagreements. These are also qualities to make meetings productive, engaging, and fun. To have an effective meeting, multiple type of meetings with clear distinguish purposes, formats, and timing are needed. Some meetings are informative while others are interactive and strategic. Keep these different meetings separate. The book talks about 4 different types of meetings: 1. Daily Check-In - It should be 5-10 minutes long and done by standing up. Everyone report on their schedule and activities of the day. This meeting will keep everyone in the loop. 2. The Weekly Tactical - It should be 45-90 minutes long depending on its frequency. In this meeting, review weekly activities and metrics, and resolve tactical obstacles and issues. Start with the Lightning Round, then Progress Review, and then Real-Time Agenda. In the Lightning Round, everyone has 1 minute to talk about their top 2-3 priorities or key activities for the week. This gives everyone a real sense of the actual activities taking place in the organization. It also makes it easy for the team to identify potential redundancies, gaps, or other issues that require immediate attention. Next is the Progress Review, where critical information or metrics are reported, such as revenue, expenses, customer satisfaction, inventory, and etc. The information reported depends on the industry and organizational situation. To review the progress, use 4-6 key metrics for success. This should take 5 minutes. Lastly, it's the Real-Time Agenda. Agenda should be based on what everyone is working on and how the company is performing against its goals. Meeting will be relevant and effective if leaders allow the agenda to shape during the meeting itself. Everyone will go into the meeting with an open mind. Also, it lets the real activities and progress against objectives determine what needs to be discussed. This meeting is used to focus on solving short-term problems and to reinforce clarity. If strategic issues are raised such as sales, hiring, products and etc, save it for the Monthly Strategic meeting. 3. The Monthly Strategic is where the executives wrestle with, analyze, brainstorm, debate, and decide upon 1-2 critical issues that will affect the business in fundamental ways. The length of the meeting depends on the topic. A good rule of thumb is at least 2 hours per topic so that everyone feel comfortable engaging in open-ended conversation and debate. The frequency of the meeting is up to the organization but have it regularly to address the critical strategic issues that come up during the Weekly Tactical meetings. Everyone should do research and prepare before coming to this meeting. If there are strategic issues that cannot wait till the next meeting, call for an emergent one. 4. The Quarterly Off-Site Review allows executives to step away and to interact with each other on a more personal level. At this meeting, review strategy, industry trends, competitive landscape, key personnel, and team development. The purpose of the meeting is to reflect on and discuss the state of the organization. To have an effective off-site review, focus on work and limit social activities.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    The only leadership book I've ever read that's a "page turner" in the classic sense. The majority of the book is a fable about the fictional company Yip Software and a plucky new assistant, Will, who helps the CEO revolutionize his meetings. The two overarching lessons of the book are the need for conflict and structure in any good meeting. This is presented through Will using an analogy to film and the idea that what makes a good film lies in the aforementioned: its drama and structure. On the The only leadership book I've ever read that's a "page turner" in the classic sense. The majority of the book is a fable about the fictional company Yip Software and a plucky new assistant, Will, who helps the CEO revolutionize his meetings. The two overarching lessons of the book are the need for conflict and structure in any good meeting. This is presented through Will using an analogy to film and the idea that what makes a good film lies in the aforementioned: its drama and structure. On the idea of conflict as it is presented in the book, I think the actual qualities the book is getting are emotional safety and passion. When discussing conflict, it's always presented as people being able and willing to share their honest thoughts on the topic. And this I 100% agree with; I just found calling it "conflict" to obscure the actual intent of what needs to be present in the room & in the hearts of everyone in there. If you can get your leaders to feel safe and care about the topics at hand, that's the buy-in that makes a meeting interesting because people will actually dive in with each other and hash things out. The structure the book presents -- daily check-in, weekly tactical, monthly strategic (+ad-hoc strategic, as needed), and quarterly off-site -- is certainly spot-on as a theory, but didn't feel particularly on-par in my case. I think it's a solid starting place if you're in a position where there is currently no structure for meetings at all, but I work in the software industry and, for the most part, agile practices handle this for the most part at the team-level. I don't think is a fault of the book and, like I said, may be more applicable to people in other circumstances, but for me it felt like being beaten with a book of common sense of how to split up topics. The parts about meeting structure did touch on an important topic, though: properly splitting out and communicating the types of topics for the meeting. Knowing what "level" of the business or team should be discussed at each meeting and knowing how to table topics as they creep in the wrong meeting is a good framing I think a lot of leaders could work to think about more. If a strategy level topic creeps up during a tactical meeting covering on-the-ground needs (or vice versa), everyone should know to move it to the proper meeting and get back on track. Overall, the story was structured in small, multi-page bites and moved at a good clip. It didn't waste your time, but did get you invested in the narrative. The last 20 pages or so basically breakdown what the fable was attempting to communicate in plain language. The book was excellent at definitely didn't feel like it was 250 pages. I'd definitely recommend this to any leader looking for something a little more gripping than the usual literature in this field.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    Meetings are tough, and everyone hates them, but they are important. Death by Meeting by Lencioni (https://amzn.to/32YH0Xj) is a great learning tool for creating purposeful meetings. This review with my summary of the structure can be found here: http://bit.ly/2NIb4RY (Its just a Google Doc. Im not trying to do bad stuff.) This book is succinct in its story and with its ideas. Lencioni is pretty clear that the structure for meetings that he outlines here is an idea, and that it needs to be adapted Meetings are tough, and everyone hates them, but they are important. Death by Meeting by Lencioni (https://amzn.to/32YH0Xj) is a great learning tool for creating purposeful meetings. This review with my summary of the structure can be found here: http://bit.ly/2NIb4RY (It’s just a Google Doc. I’m not trying to do bad stuff.) This book is succinct in its story and with its ideas. Lencioni is pretty clear that the structure for meetings that he outlines here is an idea, and that it needs to be adapted to each organization. This isn't an unchangeable blueprint that will solve all meeting whoas. The story provides an outline with great examples and analogies for creating a working meeting structure. The last chapter also summarizes the rest of the story/book, so for those in a hurry, read the last chapter; that said, the story really is meaty. It provides real-ish examples to build understanding. The concept that meetings need conflict is difficult to really grasp without the examples in the story. I listened to this book, and I found myself stopping during my morning walks to add notes from my phone, so that I wouldn’t forget anything. I’ll add the basic meeting structure Lencioni outlines below. I also believe that this book is a great companion to Radical Candor (https://amzn.to/2GaUJ1P) by Scott. Scott advocates meeting with direct reports each week, which isn’t always possible if the supervisor has a lot of direct reports. The ideas in both books compliment each other. Anyone in charge of a project or a group of people for a sustained amount of time and needs to communicate well should read this book… and Radical Candor.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Philip Haagensen

    Read most of this on a 4 hour plane ride. Who doesn't think meetings are necessary evils at best, life sucking wastes of time at worst. The trick is how do you make necessary meetings more productive and interactive? If this book can offer some insight what have I got to lose (other than $25)? The book is a story relayed in such a way as to illustrate the author's assertions. It is a quick and easy read, so you don't struggle with getting through it. I found myself underlining many key concepts, Read most of this on a 4 hour plane ride. Who doesn't think meetings are necessary evils at best, life sucking wastes of time at worst. The trick is how do you make necessary meetings more productive and interactive? If this book can offer some insight what have I got to lose (other than $25)? The book is a story relayed in such a way as to illustrate the author's assertions. It is a quick and easy read, so you don't struggle with getting through it. I found myself underlining many key concepts, only to find them summarized after the story in the ensuing chapters. My personal opinion is Lencioni is onto something here. Encourage conflict and drama in meetings as a way to get people invested in decisions. Structure the meetings according to what the goals are. He chooses to pass these ideas along via a third person narrative for emphasis. Ultimately it is a little over 200 pages of fluff and about 30 pages of theory. Given the minimal amount of time needed to read this book, that's not too much to ask. But nothing too profound here, just a point of view challenging you to look at things a little differently. Not a "must read" by any stretch of the imagination but I didn't regret picking it up, either.

  30. 5 out of 5

    EL

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Most people who've experienced their fair share of meetings are not fans of them. Particularly for those in corporate environments, the idea of a meeting can invoke emotions of boredom, dread or even frustration and resentment. Through another well-written fable, the author compares meetings to movies and posits that meetings can be just as, if not more interesting, than movies. After all, we have direct, immediate agency and real vested interests in meetings, but not in movies. Drawing on the Most people who've experienced their fair share of meetings are not fans of them. Particularly for those in corporate environments, the idea of a meeting can invoke emotions of boredom, dread or even frustration and resentment. Through another well-written fable, the author compares meetings to movies and posits that meetings can be just as, if not more interesting, than movies. After all, we have direct, immediate agency and real vested interests in meetings, but not in movies. Drawing on the theme of onscreen media, the author offers as a solution four different types of meetings, which are likened to the formats of (1) daily news highlights, (2) weekly sitcoms, (3) movies and (4) mini-series, and proposes ideas for managing their formats and contexts, so that they are relevant and engaging for the attendees. Though I think the fable could be shorter, I appreciate the expositions and characterisations set up by the author. Having suffered and succeeded in my share of meetings, the author's ideas are compelling for me; even if only half of them are carried out, I suspect it would already be a huge improvement in many peoples' lives.

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