Book #20 – Death by Meeting

death by meeting patrick lencioniDeath by Meeting – Patrick Lencioni

2004 – Josey Bass – ISBN: 0-7879-6805-6

Meetings – everyone needs them and everyone dreads them.  Patrick Lencioni does a great job identifying why we find them so boring and what we can do to make them effective.  He looks at the ways that movies and meetings are similar and what we can do to make the meetings more like movies.

Lencioni suggests that we should have meetings that are really more like headline news, sitcoms and dramas, full length movies and then miniseries. They should contain conflict and drama.  As leaders, we owe it to the people we serve to hash out the hard issues and not be affected by them personally.  These types of meetings ultimately provide a context to be able to make decisions and provide a plan to accomplish them.

Headline news – How often do you check it?  Once a day for five minutes.   We should have that type of meeting.   A five minute update daily shares with each member of the executive team an opportunity to update the team on what is important and what needs to be accomplished on that day.

Sitcoms and dramas – Once a week we check in with our favorite sitcom characters for 30 minutes to an hour.  This type of meeting should be once a week and tactical.  This meeting should be divided into three parts: 15 minutes for the entire team to discuss what’s important for them to accomplish, 5 minutes to discuss the most important topics, and 40 minutes to hash out the important events.

Full Length Movies – Every month there needs to be a strategic meeting to discuss the two or three issues facing the team and the organization.  This meeting should last about two hours give or take.  It also needs a good agenda ahead of time due to the need to be prepared to make decisions.

Mini-Series – This should be a quarterly off campus review that allows people to get to know one another and review strategy, trends, and what is generally going on in the organization.

There is a great summary of all of these in an easy to review format on page 249.

This is a great book for any leader that is looking to grow their organization and see productivity from their executive team increase.


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