• Death by Meeting

  • A Leadership Fable about Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business
  • By: Patrick Lencioni
  • Narrated by: Jack Arthur
  • Length: 4 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (2,907 ratings)

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Death by Meeting

By: Patrick Lencioni
Narrated by: Jack Arthur
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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Patrick Lencioni's three previous business fables have sold nearly 350,000 copies. His latest takes on the most dreaded company activity...meetings - why we hate them, why we shouldn't, and how to make them great

The thought of meetings makes most business people miserable, but they're a critical and unavoidable part of what we do. Through fictional narrative, modeling, and practical solutions, Lencioni shows how to turn meetings from painful and tedious to productive, compelling, and even energizing. 

The story follows an executive who finds his job on the line and his future dependent on his ability to dramatically improve his disastrous meetings. An irreverent graduate student comes into the picture with fresh ideas and a new perspective to help the executive turn things around. 

This engrossing and concise audiobook will help improve morale, effectiveness, and the bottom line at the office. 

©2004 Patrick Lencioni (P)2004 Audio Renaissance

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Winner, Business Information/Educational, 2005

"Finally, a real solution to an age-old problem. Meetings may never be the same. (Kris Hagerman, Executive Vice President, Strategic Operations, VERITAS Software Corporatio

What listeners say about Death by Meeting

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really good...but...

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Lencioni, and this is a great story/read. However, the vast...vast majority of leadership is not the executives on the C floor. They are the middle managers. I have yet to find a really good resource for this very overlooked area of leadership. All of Lencioni's works are aimed at the CEO and Executives. I do get great insight from his engaging style, but there are not a lot of examples, if any, for leading from the middle of an organization.

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

business lessons in stoy format

This was an interesting story illustrating the importance of business meetings and how to conduct them. I'm sure anyone who has ever attended a business meeting will find themselves somewhere in this story, especially at the beginning when they were doing it all wrong, and chuckle. There were many examples to reinforce the concepts of how to do it right.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Tried and tested

I listened to this story twice and found it exactly what I was looking for, as a recipe for creating compelling meetings with my staff of 16 managers. The model is simple to implement and creates immediate results, from interesting short weekly tactical meetings to monthly & quarterly strategic discussions with active debate. I also recommend reading Patrick's other title on the "Five Dysfunctions of a Team" as it melds very well with this one to build overall team strength with robust communications and a trust ethic that gets results.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Comprehensive and not too academic

This was an enjoyable listen. The "fable" was interesting. The facts were applicable. I will be able to make direct applications and use the principles to improve efficiency and communication...

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Death by meetings

Very good concepts and approach. Story and examples to reinforce.

4 people found this helpful

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Good...but certainly not Lencioni's best

Overall as with all of Lencioni's fables the story is good. It isn't my favorite, but it is good and there is plenty to take away. The narrator was good for the first half of the book, but then the audio appeared to shift significantly at the beginning of a new section. It was enough of a shift that I thought it was a completely new narrator altogether. Additionally the narration is at times a bit too animated for my taste.

In summary, the story is good, but certainly should not be your first Lencioni book and the narration is adequate.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Death by audio book

I'm obviously in a minority given the other reviews but I found the approach adopted in this book - hugely extended "fable" of a company which gets turned around by adopting the author's recommendations - monumentally annoying. There are some good ideas but I barely registered them because I was grinding my teeth so hard.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Solving Meetings

The fact that Patrick first writes in a fable enables you to connect with some of the issues that you face in your own meetings, and then the processes and working through them with "real" people who do exist with the same challenges in your own organisation enables you to grasp the concepts that Patrick is sharing with you at a realistic level. The book is neither too long or too short!

2 people found this helpful

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Should’ve been a blogpost

After 4 hours of listening, this could’ve been a blogpost on the 2 commonly-missing essential elements of meetings and the 4 types of meetings to solve them.

Also, the narrator makes the young character sound like Keanu Reeves. It’s impossible to un-hear.

1 person found this helpful

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This was a very informative and entertaining book.

The book was great! I will definitely be using many of these ideas in my company. there is a great summary of the 4 meeting types at the end.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ken
  • 12-15-13

The Media of Meetings

What made the experience of listening to Death by Meeting the most enjoyable?

Well crafted story that had me thinking through each topic with the author.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Death by Meeting?

The CNN Headline news meeting - I now use this one in all regular meetings.

Which character – as performed by Jack Arthur – was your favourite?

No favourite character - all good and the diversity of characters is spot on with respect to any company

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The idea of a CEO always worrying about what everyone thinks and getting tied in knots trying to keep everyone happy.

Any additional comments?

The Advantage takes some of the key parts of this and other books by the author however I like being able to read/listen to both.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Botty
  • 08-28-22

As always hooked in with a story / great overview of meetings

This book is a great sequel to 5 dysfunctions of a team going deeper into how to create more engaging meetings that have everyone excited about the company.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • sean89928
  • 10-21-20

Ugh

Another attempt at an analogy that went waaay too long. Surely a marketer and accountant advised the editor of this niche needing a book cos there was no merit otherwise

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  • Timothy Cross
  • 10-17-19

Very Thought Provoking

A thoroughly book, which made me think more deeply about how we run meetings in our organisation

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  • Aleksander
  • 09-03-19

One meeting not enough

A great reminder that you cannot squeeze to much various content into 1 small meeting. It needs a structure and such one is suggested in the book. Great reading!

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  • audrey platt
  • 09-29-16

Took A While

Im a big fan of the author but i have to say i struggled with this book. I found it a little slow and it took too long to get the central points.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-24-21

Great story with important message.

I was surprised how easy this was to read. The way it was told as a story was really engaging. I didn't want to put it down.