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

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  8,038 ratings  ·  456 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 wonder
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published March 4th 2004 by Jossey-Bass (first published January 1st 2004)
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May 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Brian Cassada
May 20, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"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;
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: team-management
Love it. The fable was great: short and entertaining. The learnings are even greater.

If meetings are part of what you do at your job then you'll learn something from this book. How to act during meetings or how to split them by context
Mike Moore
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business
Lencioni generally provides his business insights in a YA novel format, which works fairly well since it makes the books short and uncluttered by focusing on one narrative. However, in this book the business insights and the narrative seem disjointed. The story of Will, a bright young man lacking clear direction, is only connected to the point of making meetings better in the most tangential of ways.

The model for meeting structure is good, but it only takes about 3 pages to cover it. The rest o
Andy Rodriguez
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I heard about this book from a mentor of mine and have wanted to read it for years. I'm glad I did. I want to take some of the ideas and incorporate the priorities of separate "meetings" into my life. I think it's good to know when to tackle something.
Samuel Kassing
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting read. I would agree with most of what the author says. Especially the parts about meetings being life suckers that aren't contextually defined or lack passion. Meetings matter which means we should discuss things that matter in them.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Like a lot the fable. Don't like the aftermath. Doesn't give much added value after the fable.
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Easy and quick to read, engaging and helps you make sense of what could otherwise be a very dull topic!
Julia Sandler
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was recommended Death By Meetings by a peer, when I mentioned that our leadership meetings were feeling ineffective and confused. It's a quick read and offers some simple, easy to introduce structure. A good 'back to basics' for making meetings more effective.
Justin de la Cruz
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Piotr Uryga
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the books that are giving perspective on most dreaded topic of corporate world: meetings.

Funny thing is it advertise to have more of them and even though it's counterintuitive it makes sense.
Simple division based on context and not mixing tactical day by day topics with strategy changes is something that makes all the sense.

On top of it, it's fable with real characters which for me is always refreshing and more enjoyable to read / listen.
Chase Dougherty
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book for certain people

Phenomenal writer who is great at capturing the internal thoughts people have in life. I felt like I was literally in the room for some of the moments. However, I almost wish I would have just read the last chapter and went on with life haha. Time is precious!
Marjorie Elwood
Oct 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
I'm not sure why business authors feel compelled to write book-long fables instead of concise articles about their ideas, but at least this one has some compelling thoughts about how to make meetings more useful, interesting, and profitable to the organization. You can skip to the end of the book, where Lencioni delineates his suggestions.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
At first, I was not into the fact that this was a fable.... However, as the story progressed, I found myself interested. It was a quick read with some good takeaways on different types of meetings, the goals of each, and the role that leaders should play in making the meetings worthwhile.
Feb 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
Great lessons for preparing meetings. The leadership fable is well-written and engaging and the meeting model, although not necessarily applicable to all business models and organizations certainly introduces some issues that can (and probably should) be addressed by any organization.
Vikram Chalana
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book about how to make meetings more interesting. Meetings are a super important part of the job for most business folks -- we all need to learn how to make these meetings better -- both as an attendee and as a meeting leader. Key to good meetings, in one word --- Drama!
Liz S
Mar 09, 2016 rated it did not like it
Painfully outdated and 200 pages too long. Felt like being in a bad meeting about meetings.
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Should be required for everyone at the management level.
Ernesto Salce
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Browning
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Such a true book. Read it and apply it. No other words necessary.
Philip Haagensen
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Read most of this on a 4 hour plane ride. Who doesn't think meetings are necessary evils at best, life sucking wastes of time at worst. The trick is how do you make necessary meetings more productive and interactive? If this book can offer some insight what have I got to lose (other than $25)?

The book is a story relayed in such a way as to illustrate the author's assertions. It is a quick and easy read, so you don't struggle with getting through it. I found myself underlining many key concepts,
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I like Lencioni and enjoy his insights into organizational leadership. Once again using his allegory style he inculcates his thoughts on bad meetings and how to change them. His concept that meetings come in different types for different purposes seems intuitively right. And I certainly agree with his analysis of failures. I wish though he gave me some references to research or empirical data that his proposed method of contextualizing meetings works.

His four types are: Daily Check In, Weekly Ta
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lyzette Wanzer
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a pretty good--and sometimes amusing--read. It surprised me, however. The author is actually meeting-friendly, as opposed to meeting-averse, which is what I expected. A few of the anecdotes were unrealistic, but for the most part they served their purpose, which was to illustrate the travails and triumphs of beneficial meetings vs. wasteful ones. The author takes into account the various personality types that comprise a typical workplace meeting. You will recognize some of these folks, ...more
Glenn Burnside
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Not his best work. Lencioni is stronger when focusing on strategic principles. His books on operational tactics are more boring and fall flat. The model for meeting rhythms in this book are solid though, and if you know Scaling Up or EOS at all you’ll recognize the pattern instantly. One element that Lencioni adds beyond those other organizations that I found useful though was that he explains the rationale behind the structure instead of just giving it as prescriptive guidance.

Ironically, I was
Steve Dale
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great insights on what makes meetings work and why they are critical to success

This is my second time reading this great book. Now as an Scaled Agile coach, the different types of meetings make even more sense. When teams jump from context to context, they have trouble getting things done. Getting the right people discussing the right things and having the discipline to stay there is critical to decision making and clarity. Another point that could be the subject of another book (maybe it is alr
Dec 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: business, 2018
I've enjoyed all of Lencioni's fable books and this was a quick and easy read. Despite the impression of the title, the book is not about avoiding meetings but rather making them more effective. The book focuses on those leading a team and with the authority to manage or at least influence meeting structure in the company. It is mostly applicable leadership or executive teams, but with some good lessons for front-line teams.

After reading the fable, the lessons are simple and easily understandab
Angela Lam
Basically, the book covers how to overcome boring and ineffective meetings, using the hook, conflict mining and contextual structure (by splitting meetings into 4 sub-types rather than throw everything into 1 type of meeting)

It's quite a fun, easy-to-read book that brings out real-life meeting dynamics in a rather vivid way.
BUT, the bulk of the story (especially the background on the company and characters) are pretty redundant and don't add much to the learning points at all.

It'd suffice to j
Matt McAlear
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Nothing incredibly deep or profound in the book but an interesting perspective for sure. For me it was a good book to get other ideas or thoughts on how to run a meeting. At the end of the day they are mainly preferences or wise suggestions that can and probably should be modified to fit the company.

My takeaways would be:
- Create different meetings for different topics and styles. In the book they break down meeting types into quick 5 minute daily huddles, weekly tactical meetings to go over op
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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
“When a group of intelligent people come together to talk about issues that matter, it is both natural and productive for disagreement to occur. Resolving those issues is what makes a meeting productive, engaging, even fun.” 3 likes
“The hard truth is, bad meetings almost always lead to bad decisions, which is the best recipe for mediocrity.” 1 likes
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