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Donald Rumsfeld: How to Run a Meeting

No. 1 is to try to start the meeting as scheduled. To the extent that you don’t, you’re wasting the time of everyone else in the meeting. The same thing’s true with ending it, because people tend to have schedules of their own. Establishing a reasonably disciplined meeting culture leads to better preparation by the participants.

The second thought is that giving a good deal of attention to who the attendees are is important. I personally have been comfortable with being more inclusive rather than less. Some people prefer very small meetings, but it seems to me that when you’re inclusive you’re much more likely to hear different perspectives. For example, your general counsel isn’t the person who’s going to be dealing with you on a specific policy, but he’s a person whose perspective can be useful.