Sunday, May 15, 2005

Death by Meeting

I also recently finished reading Death by Meeting : A Leadership Fable...About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business by Patrick Lencioni. Since I'll be taking over as chair of the Education Department in a few weeks I thought it would be wise to read a little about leadership. This book is written as a "fable" followed by a section in which Lencioni explains his plan for making meetings more productive and less boring.

First of all, I found the fable part of the book very easy reading and it sparked quite a few thoughts and conversations with people. Just the title of the book alone was a conversation starter! It got me thinking about meetings and caused me to wonder why I often try to avoid them. They are usually with people I enjoy being with and are almost always about things that are important to me. So why so I so often try to think up ways to skip them?

I think it is partly because I have other things to do and I don't consider meeting productive. Also, I tend to work quickly and I can't control the pace of a meeting - it takes me longer to do something in a meeting than it does on my own. I forget that the result of collaboration is usually a lot better than the result of solo work.

But back to the book itself - by the time I got finished with Lencioni's fable I had pretty much digested his wisdom on the issue and found the explanation part of the book to be redundant and boring.

I did get a least a couple of good ideas out of the book though, one I hope to use with the Education Department's administrative assistants as soon as I start - I ran the idea past them and they liked it a lot. If that idea proves as useful as it might be then the time and money spent on the book will be well worth it!

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