Every once in a while during my reading I come across a book that is easy to read, completely relate-able to my life, and as I read it something I begin to wish I had read 6 months or even 6 years earlier. Patrick Lencioni's Death by Meeting is just such a book. In a simple fable, Lencioni accurately describes the feelings of loathing that most people experience when thinking about or attending meetings. He then, continues to build through his thoroughly enjoyable tale of Yip Software a method to improve meetings along with the rationale as to why his method will work. The book is a quick read at 258 pages and includes an executive summary of 35 pages for those who do not have the time to enjoy the full fable-although I recommend that you take the time to do so as it truly is a compelling argument for his methods.
In short, Lencioni identifies two main problems with meetings. The first being a lack of drama or conflict during the meetings and a lack of context for the meetings. Utilizing easily identifiable analysis that compares meetings to types of television shows he guides the reader to four styles of meetings and ways to use them to improve communication, effiency, and most importantly engagement in meetings. It is a book that has helped me reflect deeply on the meetings I have been in charge of in the past, recognize many of the problems with those meetings, and caused me to think deeply about changes that I am looking forward to implementing for the next school year.