New Book Summary: Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni

Published 6 months ago • 1 min read

My first summary for this month is Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable…About Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business, a short book that identifies two common problems with meetings and proposes solutions to them.

As usual, I set out the key takeaways below and you can find the full summary by clicking the link above.

Although the book is pretty short, it got me thinking about some of the many other problems with meetings that frequently crop up. I've written about those in a separate post — which turned out longer than even my original summary!


  • There’s no reason why meetings — even long ones — need to be boring or painful. Meetings focus on important issues impacting our lives, so in theory should be more interesting than a long movie.
  • The two main problems that make meetings boring and ineffective are:
    • Lack of conflict. When people are afraid to voice disagreement in a meeting, it ends up being boring. The meeting is also ineffective because that unvoiced disagreement manifests in other ways later.
    • Mixed purposes. Leaders often make the mistake of trying to get the meeting “over with” by cramming everything into a single meeting.
  • The solutions to these two problems are, respectively:
    • Mine for and encourage conflict.
    • Have different meetings for different purposes. Lencioni suggests that teams should have a Daily Check-In, Weekly Tactical, Monthly Strategic, and Quarterly Off-Site Review.
  • It’s a myth that the problem with meetings is that there are too many of them or that they are too long. While it’s true that most meetings are a waste of time, when used properly they can actually save time.

You can find the full summary for this and more on

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