Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable...About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business

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John Wiley & Sons, Jun 3, 2010 - Business & Economics - 272 pages
3 Reviews
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.


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*Break the Meeting Timesink*
We are now recommending this book to clients as part of our 'business reading list'. Two major improvements to our meeting routine have resulted already (we were
already following a meeting protocol similar to what Lencioni advocates - so this was more of a tweak for us than a total re-boot) .
1) Prior to the weekly (tactical) meeting, we've eliminated the need to poll attendees for their agenda items days before... then update the agenda... then re-send agenda... a total hassle. Instead, everyone now gets to add their item (and the time needed) during the actual meeting. MUCH less effort for everyone, yet everyone still has to prepare (and they only get the time they ask for - not one second longer). Works well.
2) The author recommends a 5-minute (TOTAL) daily update. Everyone meets by phone or in-person (standing) and simply recounts the 1-2 main things they have going on for that day. "Meet with client at 10... Walk a jobsite at 2". This is every bit as effective at keeping a team on the same page as an hour long wrangle. Highly recommended.

I love this book.

User Review  - michbird -

It reads very quickly. Insightful. Smart. Funny. I gave it to my boss as a gift and bought one for myself. Read full review

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About the author (2010)

PATRICK LENCIONI is founder and president of The Table Group, a management consulting firm specializing in executive team development and organizational health. As a consultant and keynote speaker, he has worked with thousands of senior executives in organizations ranging from Fortune 500s and high-tech start-ups to universities and nonprofits. He is the author of numerous nationally recognized books, including the New York Times best-seller The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

To learn more about Patrick Lencioni and his other products and services—including his newsletter and free resources—please visit

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