December 28, 2018 - Issue 18-51

Happy New Year  ,

As regular readers have noted, I write often about leadership, teamwork and communication.

What's the ultimate reason for attention to these things? 

In a word, efficiency - getting more done, using less time, effort and resources.

Minda Zetlin, a regular contributor to Inc. magazine,  takes on the topic of efficient meetings in the essay I'm highlighting this week. She discusses some suggestions from Tim Hockey, CEO of TD Ameritrade, about meetings and how to make them more efficient.

Most of us have experienced endless meetings that bored us to tears. 

Such meetings can be daily fare in organizations where bureaucracy is rampant (probably more common than not in medium to large companies), Often, they are poorly conducted and waste a lot of expensive time.

With that said, meetings are sometimes necessary. They can have a number of purposes:
  • To decide on a plan of action
  • To decide, or assign, who's to carry out various parts of that plan
  • To inform people - up, down or sideways in, the chain of command - about something
For a meeting to serve the organization well, and efficiently, it must:
  1. Be conducted with careful attention to limiting the amount of resources, including time, that must be diverted from other work
  2. Have a very specific, explicit, and limited purpose
  3. Include only the people who need to be there

In this report, Minda describes 9 specific actions a leader can take to ensure that the meeting he or she calls meets these guidelines.

Enjoy reading, and have a very Happy New Year! I hope you're enjoying the holidays in the company of people important to you.

John Stevens

P. S.  For other thoughts on efficient conduct of business, including meetings, check this out, from Jeff Bezos.


Care to share a story about a meeting that was especially well-conducted, or one that was a waste of your time, and perhaps a lot of other people's time? Let's do it.

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About John

Throughout a career spanning over 45 years my management style has been one of building teams to bring several competent people together to focus on a common objective. I noted early in my career that, in most organizations, there is an enormous amount of time, energy, and effort wasted by people working at cross purposes.

As I transition to life in the Argentine outback, my focus shifts from coaching to helping other business coaches and advisers get their message out to their prospective clients. With my first-hand knowledge of the benefits of effective business coaching, I am uniquely qualified to help business advisers of all stripes convey their message.

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John B. Stevens, Freelance Copywriter

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