Meetings with a Mission: Introduction

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Meetings can either be the bane of a company's existence, or the boost for a company's creativity and productivity.  I have worked for companies that wasted everyone's time with meetings that were pointless.  And I have worked for companies and organizations who understood how to run a great meeting so that it engendered creativity and held us accountable to productivity.

In 2012 a survey was conducted by to ask employees in various organizations what their main complaints were about meetings in their companies.
  • Doesn't start on time, stay on track or finish on time.
  • There are no specific action items or takeaway points.
  • There is no clear purpose or objective.
  • The meetings are not inspiring or motivating.
  • They are not organized and there is no agenda
  • They are too long.
  • There always seems to be the need to repeat information for late arrivals.
  • A weak presenter who is unprepared, monotone, or overly redunant.
  • They are boring and provide no new interesting information.
These will be addressed in this series of articles.  But of most concern to me as an organizational leader were the top three complaints from those who were surveyed.  In short, their view was that those who led the meetings appeared to be just plain incompetent.  Employees surveyed whined about (1) leaders who seemed to schedule meetings just to have meetings, (2) leaders who weren't prepared and wasted everyone's time, and (3) leaders who let the meeting get out of control by letting attendees dominate the conversation by complaining and steering it off course.  This is sad for two reasons.  First, meetings can be a place where a leader spreads, connects, and cultivates the vision and mission of the organization with everyone's roles.  Second, meetings that do not do this waste precious time, money and resources and actually create a snowball effect of organizational apoplexy.

After 25 years of leadership in various capacities and organizations, I've fell into all kinds of potholes, and even jumped into some, thinking it was good, risk-taking leadership.  Thankfully, there's a motor inside my heart and head always asking me one important question:  is this really effective?  And I always ask myself that before every meeting, during every meeting, and after every meeting.  Out of this experience I'd like to offer some solid guidance and wisdom on how to hold effective meetings, regardless of what kind of business you run, organization you manage, or group you lead.  The bottom line, I've found, is that no matter where you lead, and no matter how many people you lead, the following elements are effective in stimulating an environment for those you lead to be creative and to lead them into productivity, leaving everyone feeling satisfied and the sense of team deepened.

Part 1: Get Contributions From Your Team

About the Author: Rob is a follower of Jesus at Jubilee Church.  From there he pursues Jesus' mission at Revive Consignment as the Business & Operations Development Director, as well as at Jubilee Church of Atlanta, in Woodstock, GA. From there he envisions and pursues missional-shaped business for the kingdom. He and his wife Sherri have been married for 20 years and together have three sons and a daughter. Rob believes the mission of the gospel is summed up in four simple phrases: know God, obey Jesus, make disciples, and plant churches. This is the pursuit of his life, as well as the point of his blog.This is the pursuit of his life, as well as the point of his blog.

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