If you’re average, this work week you’ll waste 17 hours.

How many hours do you spend in meetings? “My day is one long meeting,” people often share with a sigh. Given this, how productive are the meetings you attend?

An online survey of employees in all industries revealed 17 hours each week are wasted in meetings. Ouch.


Many people we interview report that fewer than 30% of the participants in a meeting are fully engaged. Like a leaky bucket, organizations allow the best ideas, the conscientious efforts and salaries go splashing away in a routine of “time-wasting” meetings.

Ineffective managers blame the disengaged – never comprehending that their own “blah-blah-blah” monologue and “blame-fix-command” approach shoots holes in the aspirations, and results, of all.

Thus, meetings become simply awful.


There are select leaders who have made productive meetings the norm – by keeping them awfully simple.

Think 10:90. A friend in the auto industry shares, “The more talking I do in meetings, the more people tune out. So I use the 10:90 Ratio. By limiting my words to mostly questions and speaking 10% of the time, the team runs with the remaining 90%. And we get better results.”

What’s more important to you: the thoughts and ideas in your head or the thoughts and ideas in the heads of the people around you? Unless you plan on doing all the work, it’s time to build greater engagement in others.

Productivity is a choice. Telling (forcing) our ideas on others is the norm. What questions will you ask this week to make meetings (and results) simple?

What is the difference between what “might be” and what “can be”?  You decide.

Bonus Blog:
Today is a 2 for 1 day. We enjoy hearing from readers around the world. The examples of how they’re using the insights from The Tall Guys blog are insightful and inspiring. We couldn’t resist sharing the following as it demonstrates the power of great leadership where it matters most – with our families.

The following is from our friend, Eirik Thune-Larsen. Thank you for standing with The Tall Guys, Eirik.

“The Story Behind the Story”

What Appears to Be

Sometimes we see the world in a moment, and we react based on the information we have without knowing what is behind the story, knowing where people are coming from.

My 7-year old is supposed to come home right after school.   Yesterday he was almost an hour late, but he had a good excuse. Today, however, 30-minutes after school ended, he was found laying under the play set.   Lying on his stomach he heard from the teacher: “Bjorn, get out from under there! Playtime is over, you’re in trouble, and we have to call your parents”.

Well, the call came, and we spoke to the teacher, taking it all in, and prepared for the “talk” as soon as Bjorn arrived home.

Sitting on the couch, we listened, and understood. We ended up applauding his efforts, and explaining the misunderstanding that happened with the teacher.

What Might Be

The story behind the story: Yesterday when Bjorn was late, he came running in the door, with a big smile on his face, holding a paper in his hand and waiving it. “I got a Cougar Award!” he screamed. It indicated he had helped pick up balls from the playground after school, practicing his “life skills.”

Today was nothing different, he wanted another award! He repeated what he did yesterday. He dug under every climbing wall, under every play set, ran all over the playground, and looked in every bush, snow bank and under all the stairs. No basketball would escape him – The Super Picker Upper! He wanted another award. It felt great getting the first one, and he had figured out what it would take to be recognized.

But the teacher did not know or sense this so she scolded him for staying too long under the play set. He was taken from a high to a major low, and was confused.

What Can Be

Did you take the time today to think and understand before reacting?   Is the “undesirable” behavior in others actually a misunderstanding in the pursuit of success?  How do you react when “the little helper” looks like he is making things worse, but is actually trying to duplicate yesterdays behaviors, in today’s environment?

We are all guilty of acting quickly. Today, take the time to smile before reacting. It makes a huge difference in how you approach the situation. “Check it!” as my 7-year old would say, before giving the opposing team the ball.

What is the difference between what “might be” and what “can be”?  You decide.



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