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What % of Meetings Are Failures?

“Behaviour is what a man does.

Not what he thinks, feels or believes.”

– Emily Dickenson


‘Let’s have a meeting about that meeting.’

These were the words from my boss at the time, over 20 years ago when I worked in a multi-national.

I started to laugh and replied:

‘So we’re having a meeting about the meeting about another meeting?’

He laughed too.

I kept my job… but we still had the meeting!

He was known as ‘The Meeting Man’ and his most popular phrase was ‘Let’s have a meeting about that.’ He would often talk about the need for better meetings but he would always go on to do the complete opposite himself.

According to some surveys, executives rate more than 67% of meetings as being failures. In the US, that’s estimated to create a resulting loss of more than $37 Billion alone!

If you’re a leader you may not realise that whatever behaviour you display (in anything) gets modelled around the organisation.

And nowhere is that more evident than around meetings.

Meetings are an essential part of life and business. But it looks like most meetings aren’t working.

So we have a choice to either:

a. Make the meetings better (and you probably already know how)


b. Have less meetings


My kids don’t do as I say mostly – they do what they see – usually unconsciously.

And it’s the same in business as it is in life.

As a leader, you create the culture not by talking about what you want.

But by demonstrating the behaviour you want.

Tough to do but more and more, it’s essential.



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