I’ve heard it for years that the biggest waste of time for leaders is all the meetings they attend. The meetings are not the issue. The issues are: Who is at the meetings, what the purpose of the meetings are and what will happen after the meetings to move the ball down the field.

Dan Rockwell shares some excellent ideas on how to stop wasting time in meetings.

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell


If high blood pressure excites you, call a meeting with an ineffective, malfunctioning, low-performing, time wasting team.

The problem of waste is compounded because high level leaders spend most of their time in meetings.

Boost efficiency, ignite innovation, and fuel progress by improving the way teams work.

Members of dysfunctional teams:

  1. Dread meetings.
  2. Can’t wait for meetings to end.
  3. Return to meaningful work after meetings.

Member selection:

#1. Doers, not talkers.

A team of doers always outperforms a team of talkers. Avoid people who find reasons to stay the same.

#2. Big hearts, not self-serving

“Your team will never perform at the highest possible level if the members of the team don’t exhibit genuine care and concern for one another.” Mark Miller, Vice President of Leadership Development Chick-fil-A.

#3. Participants, not observers.

Google’s research indicates that members participate equally on high performance teams. No drifters. No one dominates. (NY Times article on Google’s Research)

If wasting time excites you, create dysfunctional teams.

4 factors for high performance teams:

  1. Go all-in based on 70% or 80% agreement. Express disagreements. Leave all reservations in the meeting. Waiting for 100% agreement means you’ll always be waiting.
  2. Make commitments. Successful team members declare and fulfill their commitments.
  3. Say what you think clearly, kindly, and respectfully. Going along to get along equals mediocrity.
  4. Bring up awkward issues with forward-facing curiosity. Ignoring poor performance leads to no performance. Avoid dancing around people. It’s dysfunctional.

High performance always collides with mediocrity.

Added resource:

Team Decision Making Tool

Patrick Lencioni’s pyramid of “5 Dysfunctions of a Team.”

  1. Absence of trust
  2. Fear of conflict
  3. Lack of commitment
  4. Avoidance of accountability
  5. Inattention to results

How much do you want to matter?  High performance teams make you matter more.

What causes teams to function poorly?

What factors contribute to the success of high performance teams?