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Death By Meeting

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Death By Meeting

A Leadership Fable


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

If your meetings drag on uselessly, have even more meetings — but add drama, conflict and focused purpose.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


Continuing the current hot trend of couching business counsel in fables, author Patrick Lencioni takes on the ogre of the deadly dull meeting and through story and advice, wrestles it to the ground. The book is in large part about boring meetings and the author manages to reproduce their tone exactly. The protagonists are the boss, Casey, and an employee named Will who eventually loses his temper in the face of one more stifling, useless meeting. The author plants lessons about meetings throughout the story, revealed by the characters’ experiences. However, after the fable comes an undiluted section of advice: about 40 pages of straightforward, expository prose about how to have more effective, engaging meetings. If you want useful workday advice and prefer to save fairytales - even those with built-in lessons - for bedtime, start there. getAbstract welcomes this solid guidance on how to make meetings work better.


The Story: Casey

Casey MacDaniel is founder and CEO of Yip Software. He’s a likeable, personable guy but he’s not a very inspiring CEO. In fact, he’s insipid. He lives where he grew up, in Mount Carmel, California, where his family lived for 50 years. When he was a boy, Casey worked as a caddy on the local golf course. He won a golf scholarship to the University of Arizona and studied electrical engineering and computers. He was a middling student but an excellent golfer and after graduating he joined the PGA tour. He won a few tournaments and seemed poised to break through, but contracted a case of what golfers call the yips, a mysterious malady that makes golfers shake when they’re trying to putt. He had to leave the tour, and so he invented a virtual golf game. It succeeded tremendously and Casey started a company called Yip Software to sell sports games. Business boomed. Over the next eight years, Yip Software released eight games.

Meanwhile, Casey and his wife Patricia produced four chips off of the old block. Being family oriented because of his quartet of children, Casey refused to allow his company to produce terribly violent games – the kind kids love to play...

About the Author

Patrick Lencioni is president of The Table Group, a San Francisco Bay Area management-consulting firm and a frequent public speaker. He is the author of several business books, including The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. He previously worked at the management consulting firm Bain & Company, Oracle Corporation and Sybase, where he was vice president of organizational development.

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