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Ed Ruggero

Ed Ruggero

Ed Ruggero, author most recently of The First Men In, helps organizations develop the kinds of leaders people want to follow. His Gettysburg Leadership Experience teaches battle-tested leadership lessons that endure today.

A Self-Inflicted Wound

A leader sitting in a poorly-run meeting is suffering from a self-inflicted wound. That leader has either 1) failed to teach people how to run good meetings, 2) not set clear expectations for how meetings should work, 3) not set the example or 4) some combination of the above.

The ability to conduct a good meeting is a learned skill, to be sure, but it ain't splitting the atom. Poorly run meetings sap energy, destroy efficiency, batter morale and generally ruin an otherwise good day. No leader deserving of the title should let that happen to his or her team. Instead, good leaders look at poor meetings as teaching opportunities.

When my client W was preparing her subordinate V to take over the team, she put V in charge of project management meetings. They prepared for the meetings together, with an emphasis on anticipating issues, conflicts, opportunities, etc. Out-going boss W would sit in, but only speak up if something was going badly awry. After the meetings, the two talked about what worked well and what V needed to improve to reach a better outcome.

I would also add that any leader attending unimportant meetings is misusing his or her time. If the meeting organizer can't tell me the meeting objectives and why my participation is important, I don't go. If my own people are including me in unnecessary or mismanaged meetings, then we have a coaching session ahead of us.

A mentor once told me that if I fail to correct something that I know is wrong, I have just established a new, lower performance standard. The only reason I should sit through a poorly run meeting is to establish a baseline for our on-going improvement.

By Ed Ruggero

 |  October 6, 2009; 2:32 PM ET
Category:  Accomplishing Goals Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Asking the Right Questions | Next: In Praise of Meetings

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