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Meetings are a necessary evil for all organizations. We all have to go to them and many of us have to lead them. People love to complain about meetings but I think we should institute a new rule when it comes to meeting complaints. If you are going to complain about meetings then you better be good at leading meetings. This year I read a great book that was all about making meetings work called Read This Before our Next Meeting by Al Pittampalli. Yes I know you think reading a book about meetings would be worse than going to a meeting but this is a fascinating book you need to check out. This book lays out a plan to allow meetings to enhance your organization not hinder it. If we have to have meetings why not make them work? Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book and yes…our I am trying to make the meetings I lead better. Check these thoughts out…

  • Change is never met with open arms. Great decisions involve risk and risk scares people; it’s natural for great ideas to get attacked or, worse, ignored.
  • Real work is what moves us forward. Work that involves action, struggle, and effort. It’s that output that puts us closer to winning. If the mission could speak, it would constantly tell us, “get back to work.”
  • Maybe even more unsettling than the false-urgency problem is that meetings have become a tool to delay decisions. They have become our default stalling tactic. I fear we have become politicians.
  • We have to remember that we can never guarantee a good outcome, no matter how much planning we do. Thoughtfulness is important, but so is speed. A system that allows the use of meetings as a stalling tactic leads to a culture of indecisiveness that is no longer acceptable.
  • Brave decisions lead to a brave organization; fearful decisions lead to a fearful one.
  • Sure, some decisions will fail. But movement even occasionally in the wrong direction is far better than standing still.
  • If you have no strong opinion, have no interest in the outcome, and are not instrumental for any coordination that needs to take place, we don’t need you. From now on, if you’re invited to a meeting where you don’t belong, please don’t attend.