Other Sellers on Amazon
Follow the Author
Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business Hardcover – March 4, 2004
Enhance your purchase
A straightforward framework for creating engaging and exciting business meetings
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.
Books with Buzz
Discover the latest buzz-worthy books, from mysteries and romance to humor and nonfiction. Explore more
From the Publisher
WHAT IS THE REAL PROBLEM WITH MEETINGS?
Meetings are boring because they lack drama. Or conflict. This is a shame because most meetings have plenty of potential for drama, which is essential for keeping human beings engaged. Unfortunately, rather than mining for that golden conflict, most leaders of meetings seem to be focused on avoiding tension and ending their meetings on time. And while these may seem noble pursuits, they lie at the heart of bad meetings.
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.
Meetings are ineffective because they lack contextual structure. Too many organizations have only one kind of regular meeting, often called a staff meeting. Either once a week or twice a month, people get together for two to three hours of randomly focused discussion about everything from strategy to tactics, from administrivia to culture. 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.
To make our meetings more effective, we need to have multiple types of meetings, and clearly distinguish between the various purposes, formats, and timing of those meetings.
THE FOUR MEETINGS
THE DAILY CHECK-IN is a schedule-oriented, administrative meeting that should last no more than five or 10 minutes. The purpose is simply to keep team members aligned and to provide a daily forum for activity updates and scheduling.
THE TACTICAL STAFF is what most people have come to know as staff meetings. These should be approximately an hour in length, give or take 20 minutes, and should focus on the discussion and resolution of issues which effect near term objectives.
THE AD-HOC TOPICAL is the most interesting kind of meeting for leaders, and the most important indicator of a company's strategic aptitude. It is the appropriate place for big topics, those that will have a long-term impact on the business. Each strategic meeting should include no more than one or two topics, and should allow roughly two hours for each topic.
THE QUARTERLY OFF-SITE REVIEW is an opportunity for team members to step away from business, literally and figuratively, to reassess a variety of issues: the interpersonal performance of the team, the company's strategy, the performance of top-tier and bottom-tier employees, morale, competitive threats, and industry trends. These can last anywhere from the better part of a day to two full days each quarter.
“The author is something of a master of the modern fable….” (Professional Manager, Vol.13, No.6, November 2004)
“…pitches his theory neatly at busy readers by opening with an executive summary.” (Supply Management, 8 July 2004)
"Highly recommended: you could even take it to your next meeting." (On Target, September 2007)
—Kris Hagerman, Executive Vice President, Strategic Operations, VERITAS Software Corporation
"Death By Meeting is about much more than meetings; it's about an entire management philosophy. I read a lot of books on management, and Lencioni's are among the very best. They form the basis for our approach at Silicon Valley Bank."
—Ken Wilcox, CEO, Silicon Valley Bank
"Lencioni has done it again! Insightful. Practical. Ready-to-implement solutions. If you lead people, you can’t afford to miss this book. It’s an absolute must-read."
—Jim Mellado, President, Willow Creek Association
"We've put Pat's theories into practice and they work. Our meetings are more productive, our communication is clearer, and the team’s commitment to decisions is much greater."
—Curt Nonomaque, President and CEO, VHA Inc.
"Meetings are such a critical element of effective organizational communication. Lencioni has provided a concise, entertaining, and inventive guide to improving meeting structure, participation, and results. Thumbs up for this insightful tale."
—Sandy Alderson, Executive Vice President of Operations, Major League Baseball
- Publisher : Jossey-Bass; 1st edition (March 4, 2004)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 260 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0787968056
- ISBN-13 : 978-0787968052
- Item Weight : 15.1 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.6 x 1.1 x 8.1 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #16,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on August 4, 2020
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Every one involved in an organization that holds meetings should read and apply this.
The first premise of Death by Meeting is the conflict is not to be avoided in meetings but encouraged. Different than personal conflict, idea and position conflict is what is needed to make tough decisions and take the company forward. The second major premise is that we can not have multipurpose meetings. We should have some meetings for information and others for decision making, each with a different style and cadence. Lencioni specifically suggests four types of meetings. The 5-minute Daily Check-in, the 45-90 minute Weekly Tactical, the 2-4 hour Monthly or Ad Hoc Strategy and the 1-2 day Quarterly Off-site Review.
Few if any proposed meeting structures come closer to what you would expect to see in a truly lean company. A lean company has (a) tremendous focus on the task at hand, (b) a disdain for waste such as that demonstrated when meetings lack purpose and structure and (c) a respect for the benefit of structure and standardization, such as proposed by the rhythm these meetings have. I highly suggest taking a look at this book, and then a more serious look at your own meeting structure.
Top reviews from other countries
This will appeal to anyone who has struggled though a meeting and walked away wondering what they got out of it. It will also appeal to those who have run such meetings.
Consider this tale a timely reminder that trying to achieve too much in one place often means that not much is achieved. Through focusing on what is realistic, and not being afraid of conflict, meetings can be productive sessions that drive business forward and improve colleague relationships.
I am currently working through how I can improve the participation and outcomes from my regular team meeting.
If you need to improve meetings you run, or those that you are part of then this book will give you very helpful ideas to do it, and a fable to use to explain your reasons as you try to take colleagues with you.
This book shows how managers, leaders - US - need to wake up and get the most out of these gettogethers and make it actual activities. I have been buying this book to all my friends and bosses; finally I am in a position to put this in practice myself!
Many thanks Patrick for making this book an enjoyable read!