Death By Meeting — A Book Reflection

I just finished reading this book called Death by meetings. I am officially announcing Patrick Lencioni as my favorite author. I also read his 5 Dysfunctions of a team and I loved it.

3 Reasons why I love his writing

  1. Usually, it only takes me a couple of days to finish his book.
  2. Not because of its size but because of how he makes complex topics so simple to digest.
  3. He is an amazing storyteller. He fictionalizes these complex topics around stories and great analogies.

Coming back to Death by meeting…

Movies Vs Meetings

He compares and contrasts meeting with movies.

What would you prefer? Watching a movie or attending a meeting?

Most of us would say a movie but why? Because the hero solves the problems. But meetings are there for the same reason. In fact, meetings should be better because you can talk to the hero and help him solve the problem. Walk him through it from a different angle.

But still, we all prefer movies over meetings. Why? The book answers it with one word. If your meetings lack this one word then all you’re going to end up with are boring movies sorry meetings. The word “Conflict”.

Conflict Doesn’t mean you should be yelling and pointing fingers at each other. It is graciously putting conflicting viewpoints on the table and arriving at a decision that everyone is 100% in. If you keep the conflict off the meetings just to avoid the tension and discomfort in the room, you are going to have people complaining “Told you so” on hitting a crisis.

Types of Meetings

Do you just watch one type of movie? Sometimes it’s comedy, sometimes it’s action, sometimes it’s animation. But there is another interesting aspect to it; it is not always movies. You also watch series and sitcoms, you also listen to songs to keep things interesting.

Similarly, You have multiple kinds of problems and a single type of meeting is not good enough to solve all of them. There are different kinds of meetings. One for each kind of problem:

  1. Daily Standup
  2. Weekly Tactical
  3. Monthly Strategic
  4. Quarterly Offsite Review

I hear you screaming “That is way too many meetings”. I hear you. The book has an answer to that as well.

Meetings can be boring, but this book taught me It doesn’t have to be and Why it should not be. As a team lead/executive if you have your team whispering about your meeting as a waste of productive time this book is for you. If you are a person who is aspiring to run great teams(like me) this book is for you too. Grab your copy here.


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