David Pearl’s “Real Meeting Checklist”

To wrap up my old man yells at meetings series, inspired by and drawing heavily from David Pearl’s excellent Will There Be Donuts?, I’ll close the same way Pearl did, with his Real Meeting Checklist.

If you’re fine living a life filled with lousy meetings that waste your (and everyone else’s) time, get nothing done, and do nothing but move us slightly closer to our inevitable deaths, then this post isn’t for you.

But if you want to be inspired, then read on!


  1. Every meeting is “your” meeting: be a revolutionary, not a victim
  2. Fewer meetings, more meeting: informal chats are fine for many things
  3. There is no such thing as “a meeting”: there are seven basic reasons to meet, and each requires a different approach
  4. If you don’t know why you are in a meeting, don’t be in the meeting
  5. If you can’t improve a bad meeting: then make it worse until no one can defend it
  6. When you are done, stop – no matter what the schedule says
  7. ALL meetings need to be led
  8. Bad meetings always have “good” reasons: to change a bad meeting, you first need to understand what people are getting from it
  9. Create (extraordinary) value
  10. The revolution starts today: don’t wait
  11. Bore no more! This list isn’t about boring meetings and whether you want to have them, it’s about boring lives and whether you want to live one.

Lee Brooks is the founder of Cromulent Marketing, a boutique marketing agency specializing in crafting messaging, creating content, and managing public relations for B2B technology companies.

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Posted in Leadership, Management
One comment on “David Pearl’s “Real Meeting Checklist”
  1. […] Finally, Pearl closes by summarizing what we’ve learned (a great deal), and providing us with a Real Meeting Checklist. […]

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