Death by Meeting - Deepstash
Death by Meeting

Death by Meeting

Patrick M. Lencioni


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Meetings Should Have a Clear Purpose and Agenda

Meetings Should Have a Clear Purpose and Agenda

"Meetings should always have a clear objective - a reason for taking people's time."

Meetings should not be held without a specific purpose. An agenda helps keep the meeting focused and on track.

The meeting leader needs to set a clear objective upfront on what needs to be accomplished. This provides clarity on the expectations and desired outcomes


131 reads

Limit Meeting Attendees to Those Who Truly Need to Be There

Limit Meeting Attendees to Those Who Truly Need to Be There

"The right people need to be in the room - no more, no less." 

Evaluate whether everyone's attendance is absolutely necessary. Extraneous participants waste time and detract from the focus. On the other hand, missing key decision makers will stall progress.

Determine who the critical stakeholders are based on the meeting's purpose.


108 reads

Meetings Should Have Defined Start and Stop Times

Meetings Should Have Defined Start and Stop Times

  • Honoring people's time demonstrates respect and preserves productivity.
  • When meetings start late, it encourages tardiness and conveys disrespect for those who showed up on time.
  • Ending late causes cascading delays across attendees' calendars.
  • Define a clear start and stop time upfront based on the agenda.
  • The leader should then enforce these time boundaries, while allowing flexibility if the discussion warrants it.


91 reads

Meetings Should Have Someone Clearly in Charge

Meetings Should Have Someone Clearly in Charge

"Every meeting needs to have a leader running it."

  • Lack of leadership results in inefficient, wheel-spinning sessions. The leader is accountable for keeping things on track and achieving the intended purpose.
  • They guide the discussion, manage the agenda's timing, get consensus on next steps and ensure follow-through.
  • Leaders should show up prepared, focused on the end goal, and limit side conversations


88 reads

Always Require Pre-Work for Meetings

Always Require Pre-Work for Meetings

"People should do their homework before coming to the meeting." 

Asking attendees to prepare in advance increases engagement and informed contribution. The leader should assign prework based on individual roles such as reading materials, data analysis, options development, etc.

Give clear instructions on expected output and deadlines.


87 reads



Once upon a time can happen any time.


Death By Meeting is a business fable that focuses on addressing the issues of inefficient and unproductive meetings. Author Patrick Lencioni provides insight through a fictional story of a struggling tech startup company called Telegraph Industries. The CEO brings in a consultant to help improve their meetings, who shares techniques on making meetings more engaging and effective.


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