Review: Patrick Lencioni – DEATH by Meeting (S)

DEATH by Meeting
Patrick Lencioni

“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.

A friend gave this book to my wife, and she read it across two days. I’ve never seen her so excited, even with the other books she’s reviewed for me (eg. Brew a Batch, Permission to Screw Up). This review is therefore written from her perspective.

The cover, as you can see, is a business guy head desking on top of a meeting agenda. I figured I’d just skim over it and then read the other bookies waiting in my bedroom. A trusted business friend recommended it to me – otherwise I wouldn’t have picked it up on my own. Once I had it, I thought I might get more insights into meetings.

Most of the book is a fictional story about a leadership team and how they are currently running their meetings. You get suckered in (invested) in how they improve their meetings. Given that it has this story you see real life examples of how it can be used and not just the plain theory. The characters give some of the reader’s thoughts back at them like ‘Why do we need more meetings? or ‘Really? You want me to do this in a meeting?’ where it is answered in the story as a group and the characters chatting about it.

Unlike the other business books where they try to cram in a bunch of theories and just hop about in meaningless or difficult to follow manner the story creates a framework. I would have preferred a little more of the ‘Fast Forward’ (non-fiction) at the end with the theories. This could have included more examples with the team doing the good meetings, the different types of good meetings. It was really interesting and enjoyable. This really has one meeting theory that can be summarized on a single page, so it’s not a reread of the whole book, just a revisit of the summarized theory at the back if need be.

Perhaps the most gleaming commendation for this book is that my wife stayed up late, and read this over two days. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so absorbed! Also, she’s a passionate fiction hater, and I could hardly believe she was reading a fictional story (and I teased her mercilessly too).

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