Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable
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Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  3,030 ratings  ·  228 reviews
Bestselling author Patrick Lencioni's three previous business fables have sold nearly 350,000 copies. His latest takes on the most dreaded company activity...meetings--why we hate them, why we shouldn't, and how to make them great

The thought of meetings makes most business people miserable, but they're a critical and unavoidable part of what we do. Through fictional narrat...more
Audio CD, 25 pages
Published March 12th 2004 by Macmillan Audio (first published March 4th 2004)
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Parcoast
Pros for this title are easy to come up with: It was a quick read. The information is easily consumable. The resulting recommendation is fairly specific and easy to implement. The concept behind this strategy for your meetings seems solid.

Cons are that the information, while easy to test, does not seem to come from any sort of empirical source. Most of it sounds like Lencioni conjured it up from nothing. I'm OK with that, since that is how I have come up with some of my best work, but it is an e...more
Thelma
"Death by Meeting" was my first Lencioni book and I am definitely a fan. Having seen him first at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit when he was a last-minute fill-in for Howard Schultz of Starbucks, I was immediately impressed by his humor and insights. I wasn't surprised that he was invited back the following year and again this year for the 2013 lineup.

The book is an engaging tale on what spells the difference between meetings that are alive and dead. Do not expect a linear narrative;...more
Jon
This is my second time reading this book. It is Lencioni's best book as it resonates the most with me. I spend an extensive amount of time in meetings and so need to keep them relevant and productive. Death by Meeting presents a leadership fable of a Company CEO whose company is floundering as a result of conducting poorly constructed meeting. This fable highlights two ingredients necessary to make meetings effective. They are conflicet and structure. Conflict also reffered to as human drama is...more
Brian Cassada
It was a good book with great intentions. I think the allegory that the information was set upon was good and applicable. However, I found that it got in the way for me. I read for growth and information. I was looking for the information to come to light and had to wait until the end. Everything the book was about could have been summed up in 5 or 6 pages.
Michael Caldwell
The title 'Death By Meeting' definitely caught my eye as I've been wrestling with the quantity of meetings we have at our company. What I realized after reading the book was that it's not the quantity of meetings that was the problem - it's the quality of meetings.

I was a little skeptical of the concept of business fiction as a vehicle to delivery this information, but I feel the author did an effective job. Was the fictional story a literary masterpiece? No, but it got the concepts across in a...more
Sharon
First Lesson: Always look beyond the title in Bold print, you might find more information about the book in your hands if you venture further and read the small print.

Case in point. This book.
I saw the title (Death by Meeting) and immediately thought, 'a mystery! Haven't read one of those in a while!' Had I ventured to look further I would have seen in smaller print 'A Leadership Fable.' And in yet smaller print,'...about solving the most painful problem in business.'

Needless to say, I have lea...more
Tigran Mamikonian
Quite interesting and relevant book for all managers who want to improve effectiveness of teamwork. If you were ever stressed by multy-party or face-to-face meeting and ever wondered if there are ways to make meetings more pleasant and productive, you should definitely look into this book.

Patrick Lencioni has presented this book in his classic style - first the model is illustrated in the form of fable and then the model described itself.

So the Model described in the book addresses both - compos...more
Justin de la Cruz
This is fiction book that tells a whole story just so the author can hit you with some practical knowledge about a certain subject. The subject here is business meetings: Lencioni has some good tips on how to conduct meetings - different types of meetings for different purposes, let conflict come out, don't plan for tactical meetings - but I didn't need an entire story about an ex-golfer-turned-manager, filled with completely flat characters to get these tips. The appendices included (that come...more
Galaxiant
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janet
The book, like his previous ones, is cleverly structured in two large parts: The Fable and The Model. It's a quick read. The first part lays out a sort of novel, where the characters could pretty much be you and me, taking part in management meetings in our own companies, and tells the story of how implementing his methodology (brought about by a "consultant in disguise", impersonated by the CEO's personal assistant) helped put the company's steering team out of its meeting "misery", by turning...more
Hans
Business books generally bug me. They throw out a punchline title and then try to sell you a revamped world view. I've always resisted them, but I am pushing myself to pick a few up and find out if any ideas gel with my experiences or work challenges.

This book seemed to be a good fit because it tackles everyone's favorite part of the week: endless meetings.

I have to be honest, I was both drawn into the fable section and simultaneously annoyed at myself for bothering with the story. When I got to...more
Greg
Another outstanding book on an important management skill by Patrick Lencioni. Once again using a fable, this time to illustrate how to approach improving meeting time and using meetings for four different purposes:
• The Daily Check-In (5 min): Share daily schedules and activities - don't sit down, keep it administrative, don't cancel even when some can't attend.
• The Weekly Tactical (45-90 min): Review weekly activities & metrics & resolve tactical obstacles & issues - don't set ag...more
Jim
This is the 4th Lencioni book I have read. The Five Dysfunctions of team which really made me think different about teams. Silos, Politics and Turf Wars when the commander of Special Operations at Fort Bragg made it required reading and it fundamentally made me stop thinking walls between organizations and the need for fish nets and not walls. Recently I finished his book The Advantage which was a good look at the importance of shared values, goals and visions. Well Death by Meetings written in...more
Kevin
I checked out the audiobook CDs from my library and finished listening to the book in less than a week. Overall it was compelling to listen to. The author's writing style is captivating in that he draws you into the fictional story of a company struggling to cross a threshold.

As far as content goes I'm not certain that I completely agree with his basic premise, that meetings are disliked by most people because they're boring and lack conflict. Maybe I'm getting caught up in semantics, but just b...more
Cathy Allen
Nine times out of 10, when someone says "we need our nonprofit board to be more 'business-like,'" what they are really saying is "we need these meetings to suck less." That's one reason why I enjoyed this book. The other reason is this: I love meetings. Working collaboratively with others is a big thrill for me, one of my strengths, something that gets me going in the morning. But good collaboration requires face time, sometimes in large-ish groups, and it can be difficult to convince others to...more
Cliff
Was a good example for execs to streamline and categorize different meetings. I liked the analogy of comparing meetings to TV, movies, and miniseries; in order to keep them interesting by using conflict to get through important decisions and reach conclusions. However, I think there could have been something included about lower level meetings with teams or even conference calls and how to improve those. Overall a well written book that went by very quickly.
Aaron Bolin
The title, "Death by Meeting," really spoke to me as someone who has experienced my share of really bad meetings. Patrick Lencioni presents a compelling structure for meetings based around the concept of storytelling. Great ideas; his meeting structure could eliminate many bad meetings.

In terms of criticism, I thought the fable part of the book was mediocre. A mediocre story line is kind of ironic given the fact that the premise of the book revolves around effective storytelling.

I did enjoy the...more
pri ambodo
sebetulnya, yang saya baca versi Indonesianya, yang diterbitkan oleh penerbit salemba empat

penuturuannya dibuat bagian per bagian sesuai dg tema pembahasan dan hal2 yang dicapai

mungkin terlihat sederhana tema yang diangkat, tapi dalam kenyataan hal itu banyak terjadi di organisasi/perusahaan

meeting-meeting tingkat eksekutif tidak menyenangkan, tiap peserta merasa cemas ketika harus ikut meeting, dan hasilnya pun tidak optimal

pesan utama yg bisa ditangkap adalah, gaya kepemimpinan yg harus bisa m...more
Darryl
Jan 26, 2010 Darryl rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who think business books are dry
Recommended to Darryl by: school
This was a reasonably good book which taught some good principles, but I'm finding that I don't really like business fiction. I think the reason authors use fiction to teach business principles is to keep it from being dry and boring, but to me it comes off as pretending to be more profound than it really is. This book isn't nearly as bad in that regard as some (Who Stole My Cheese?), but personally I would have preferred a shorter, non-fiction book that doesn't have to spend time on character d...more
Ryan Agrimson
Patrick Lencioni captures your attention with his storytelling in this book. Lencioni highlights the pitfalls of the meetings between a fictional CEO and his executive team prior to a merger with a much larger company set for acquisition and expansion. The underlying theory behind Lencioni's text holds a strong basis for Jim Collins in his book, "Good to Great." Conflict is essential in meetings. If there was an easy decision, then we wouldn't need meetings in the first place. Interesting discus...more
Jerry Fultz
Another home run by Lencioni.

I pretty much read this book in one morning. It's an outstanding and practical view on how to transform the nature of meetings.

We recently began the process of revamping our meetings. We're scheduled to do our first strategic off-site and I found the suggestions about the offsite, as well as the 3 other types of meetings outlined, very helpful.

Some folks have the gift of meetings - I do not. The book helped me to understand the trap of consensus, and it helped me bet...more
Bradley
This book is misleading. The title makes you think it will be all about how meetings are terrible, but it actually tries to convince you that meetings are not the worst and how meetings should be used as a tool rather than a routine activity.
It gave me a lot to talk about the next time my office had a meeting to talk about meetings.
Bob
This book changed my professional life. As a project manager for a large architectural practice I've struggled with the amount of wasted time spent in meetings. This book opened my eyes to the possibilities of team interaction and has helped us be successful.

A must read for anyone who manages other people.
Andre
Lencioni made a page-turner about boring meetings. That cannot be easy. Death By Meeting takes a model for a meeting system and presents it through an entertaining story about an executive whose job is in danger. Lencioni advocates the same dramatic dress-up as a technique for having more exciting meetings. Just as nobody wants to read a textbook about a meeting model. Nobody wants to sit in a status meeting where there is no conflict. Underneath the drama though appears to be a pretty sophistic...more
Roy
Not the most inspiring or well-backed-up of my business books, but it has some interesting ideas. I may shake up the meeting structure for my little six-person team.

The "business fable" angle, conveying the points through a fictional story, is a little off-putting. On one hand, it really does make the material more readable. On the other, I think the author was trying to justify the price tag of a book for a pamphlet's worth of material. It doesn't help (or it does, depending on your perspective...more
Janice
The idea about having specific, focused meeting to improve general performance makes sense. I am not sure that I buy that the executive meeting(s) are solely responsible for the corporate culture which is implied in the book. It took a while to get to the point.
Phil Shields
I'm so thankful for this book and the ideas behind it. Lencioni presents a great story with insight into leading others and planning for your organization. I loved what I read and look forward to thinking about it for the teams I'm a part of.
Dan Fizesan
It is a book that advocates having some interaction in the meeting so that it is not boring and having more type of meetings, that serve different purposes. I would rate it a 4, being short and relatively to the point - the last chapter - The Model.
Michael
More leadership fables from Patrick Lencioni. This book is centered on the idea that while some hate meetings, meetings can be and should be productive, engaging and never boring. Lencioni teaches that different meetings should be held for different reasons and at different intervals to suit different purposes. He states that the key to any good meeting is drama, which comes from a good leader 'mining' for ideological conflict among participants. I'm not sure that his recommendations will work f...more
Brett
A masterly crafted story, Death by Meeting challenges leaders to make meetings matter – to release the drama, tension, and debate that are innate in most workplace discussions, and yet subdued by pretense, office politics, and lack of unifying purpose. Lencioni calls teams to commit to the dramatization and contextualization of meetings. First, let discussion stir passion. Mine for conflict. Embrace disagreement. Secondly, one must understand the division of labor among meetings. Lencioni highli...more
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Patrick Lencioni is a New York Times best-selling author, speaker, consultant and founder and president of The Table Group, a firm dedicated to helping organizations become healthy. Lencioni’s ideas around leadership, teamwork and employee engagement have impacted organizations around the globe. His books have sold nearly three million copies worldwide.

When Lencioni is not writing, he consults to...more
More about Patrick Lencioni...
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: A Leadership Fable The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Management Fable About Helping Employees Find Fulfillment in Their Work The Five Temptations of a CEO: A Leadership Fable The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business

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