Death by Meeting

I chose to begin with Death by Meeting because I like a good story. As you start the book, you will get hooked and find yourself reading a big chunk in a sitting. The book is made up of 2 parts: The Fable and The Model. This post is about the first half of The Fable, pages 3-125.

The Fable

THE MAN: It was interesting to get Casey’s perspective of meetings. He didn’t like them. They gave him indigestion. These feelings began 10 minutes before the weekly meeting started. Meetings started on time and ended on time. Excuses by colleagues were made in order to get out of attending. When dialogue got lively, they moved on to the next topic. Casey doesn’t like conflict and confrontation. The new boss attended one of these meetings and was so dismayed by the unproductivity and lack of inspiration, that he began to have doubts as to whether Casey should continue running this company.

WILL POWER: Will is a temp who has Tourette’s tendencies. It seems to appear at work when he’s completely bored and frustrated with others’ lack of productivity. Will is extrememly bright and is deciding his future- film maker, psychotherapist, advertising exec… this guy can do it all. Casey trusts Will and asks for his honest opinion. After some research, Will has a plan. His question to the Admin Team is this… Why is it that we can be completely engaged in a movie (for 2 hours) that has nothing to do with us, yet we can be completely disengaged in a meeting that has everything to do with us (a job we should be passionate about, colleagues we respect, our future)? Go to page 118 and read this very short chapter, The Hook, starring Will. While you’re at it, continue on to the next chapter, Mining.

It would be great to get some dialogue going. Please feel free to comment, ask a question, or correct my grammar. More to follow…
Enjoy your Summer,

2 thoughts on “Death by Meeting

  1. Nice post Ginny. Thanks for getting this going. Lencioni is a big believer in the idea that before a leadership team can do anything productive, they must become cohesive (which starts with trust). Then they work toward clarity on how and where to spend their energies. Meetings are probably a good place to start.


  2. I had read Death by Meeting within three days of receiving it. I have been dealing with a disemboweled house ever since and can’t get to the book packed away with the rest of my furniture in the trailer out front. From memory, I must say that not only did I enjoy reading the book, but I am thoroughly impressed with the clear expectations for meetings and outcomes. I imagine I’m not the only one who has been part of many of those awful staff meetings that existed purely for the sake of having a meeting. I knew there had to be a better way but this is the first believable example I’ve seen of really effective and enjoyable meetings. Genius!


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