Are you a leader who is looking for inspiration you can use to make your meetings significantly better?

Then listen to episode #131 on the Meeting Leadership Podcast!

In this episode you’ll hear 5 wise quotes and how you can learn from them and take action when it comes to creating a higher level of accountability in your meetings.

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Full Transcript

If you had to identify in one word the reason why the human race has not achieved and never will achieve its full potential, that word would be meetings. I mean, if that quote from Dave Barry doesn’t make you laugh, it’s going to make you cry. Well, don’t do that because today on the show we’re going to get into some inspiring leadership quotes that can help you improve your meetings.

Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for practical tips from the coach with the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. You’re listening to The Meeting Leadership Podcast with Gordon Sheppard.

Welcome to another episode of The Meeting Leadership Podcast. My name is Gordon Sheppard. I want to say thank you for taking time out of your valuable day to spend time here on the show to get another leadership skill, another tip, another strategy to make your next meeting highly effective. I’m really glad that you trust this show to do just that.

And today on the show, I’m really happy to be bringing you inspiring leadership quotes that can help improve your meetings because some days, they just don’t have the incentive to kind of get that agenda ready and maybe somebody’s late, or somebody’s sick, or whatever it is. This is the kind of thing that you can go back to and actually draw inspiration from to take it up a notch no matter what meeting you are in.

And let me get things started with this great quote from Milton Berle. He says, “A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours.” Now isn’t that just so insightful? Because really, we often don’t measure the real cost of our meetings. Now there are other episodes on the podcast where I’ve given you kind of a formula to do just that and you can go back and find those and I’ll make sure they get in the show notes. But you also want to consider the opportunity cost. You could be in that meeting or you could be doing something else. Now, this is especially important for any of the volunteer work that you do. You could be going to your volunteer meeting or you could be taking care of your parents, or your family, or traveling, or doing something else. And so often we don’t measure the cost and then we don’t actually value the meetings themselves. And so many people kind of quietly go away. And that doesn’t matter if it’s in a volunteer setting or in a work setting.

Which leads me into my next quote. And I chose this one because so often when I’m teaching people about how to have better meetings, I always say that great meetings start with you. And here’s the quote by Maya Angelou. She says, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Now I absolutely love that quote and let me tell you why. Now there’s a great book by Maya Angelou. It’s called, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The writing, it’s incredible.

And she actually then goes through a lot of things that happened in her life when she was growing up. Now to think that she would come to a quote like I just read to you. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. The stuff that happened to her when she was little, I mean, some pretty serious heinous things happen to her, but she was able to kind of work through that and get to a point where her attitude was something that we can all really admire. And so I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. And if you can kind of live by this quote when you’re going into your next meeting, then it doesn’t matter whether you are the leader or the follower. You can actually choose how you feel about that meeting and really then kind of get into it in the right way to make it more productive.

And to help you get into the right mindset to do this, here’s a great quote by John Maxwell. He says, “To add value to others, one must first value others.” So you really have to have a lot of empathy for the people that are in your meetings if we take the spirit of what he said. And when you can start to take this approach, I can guarantee you it’s going to rub off on other people that are in your meetings as well. You’re not thinking about yourself. You’re really kind of thinking from their point of view, the other people that are in the room. And when you do that, the meetings start to get way richer. They start to become more innovative. It allows for more things to occur and I think it is really worthwhile investing in the idea of valuing others first.

And the last quote I want to mention really has to do with folks that know the difference between meeting facilitation and meeting leadership. And it goes like this, “Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right thing.” And that gift of a quote and the spirit of it comes from Peter F. Drucker. Now he is a management and leadership guru. He is someone that you want to really kind of look up and learn a lot more from. But think about that. The difference between management and leadership is that in leadership you’re doing the right thing.

So in your meetings, for example, let’s say you’re having a lousy meeting, the leader is going to cut the meeting if it’s not working. The manager, you’ll kind of get by. If you’re actually the meeting leader, then you know that when people are late, you’re going to lock the door and not let them in because you’re going to respect everybody’s time. That’s the right thing to do as opposed to kind of getting by. Now, I know I’m saying some black and white things here, but you can get the gist of it. You’re going from management mindset to leadership mindset. You’re using the self-awareness that you’re gaining from the spirit of the other quotes that we’ve talked about on the podcast and you are really then investing in yourself and then investing in your team to make all of your meetings as highly productive and profitable as possible.

And just to help you really get into this, I’m going to take a moment to reread these quotes in order. A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours. Milton Berle. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Maya Angelou. To add value to others, one must first value others. John Maxwell. And finally, management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right thing. Peter F. Drucker. And like I said at the beginning, if your meetings aren’t going as well as you think they should be, then really kind of dig into one, two, maybe all of these types of quotes. Get the spirit of them going, maybe read them out loud to your meeting team, and really then start to use them to make your next meeting significantly better.

And I have to send a big shout out to Lolly Daskal who wrote the article, The 100 Best Leadership Quotes of All Time. She did that for Inc.com, and that’s where I read it, and that’s where I was able to sort of get a great source for these wonderful quotes from these wonderful, wonderful leaders. And I’ll make sure that you get a link to that article in the show notes.

And, of course, if you’re looking for even more inspiration, then check out episode 76 on The Meeting Leadership Podcast. It’s called Inspiring Leadership Stories. And that’s with Martin Parnell when he talks about how he was inspired by the woman who ran the first Afghan marathon. Now she went through all kinds of barriers that were going to hold her back, but she broke through and she did it. Martin went on to create a documentary about women in that experience. It’s really, really inspiring and I think you’re going to get a lot out of this episode by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/76. And of course there are a variety of other inspiring leadership stories from great leaders that you can find on the podcast.

And then here’s a slightly different take on how to get inspired. In episode 70 on the podcast, we talk about three inspiring questions to answer before you book a meeting room. And I know that if you listen to that episode, you’re going to find those questions, you’ll answer those questions, and it’s going to be one of those ways that you really start to motivate yourself and your team in a unique way. And you can listen to that episode by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/70.

And I also want to let you know that this episode of The Meeting Leadership Podcast is brought to you by The Meeting Leadership Academy. Now, there are all kinds of live training options for you and your team there, but one of the key ones that people have had a lot of success with is the Effective Meetings for Professionals Workshop. It’s a half-day. It’s a great way to spark your team. If you’ve got sort of 10, 20, 30 people that you want to have learn at the same time and really kind of move your meeting productivity up a significant level in just a short period of time, and you can learn all about that and a whole bunch more by visiting meetingleadershipinc.com/academy.

And I really hope you’re enjoying the new format of the show. Two episodes a week, one long version with a great interview on Tuesdays, and then like today’s episode, you’re going to get a short format, punchy kind of practical thing that you can take into your workplace right away to make your meetings significantly better.

And speaking of great interviews, we’ve got Dan Cockerell on the show next Tuesday. Dan, former vice president at Disney. And this guy, he’s going to light it up, give you a whole bunch of things that Disney does in terms of insights and how they build great leaders. It’s a wonderful episode. I really enjoyed doing the interview. I know you’re going to enjoy it too. And that’s coming up on episode 132 on The Meeting Leadership Podcast. It’s actually called How Disney Develops Outstanding Leaders. And that’s with Dan Cockerell. And you can listen to that episode by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/132.

And as always, thank you so much for listening and we’ll see you next time on The Meeting Leadership Podcast.

Thanks for listening to The Meeting Leadership Podcast. Be sure to subscribe for more strategies that help you become an outstanding leader. And don’t forget to rate and review so we can bring you even more great content. We’ll see you next time, right here on The Meeting Leadership Podcast.

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Connect With Gordon Sheppard

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Gordon Sheppard

Gordon Sheppard

Gord is on a mission to change the world, one meeting at a time. Over his 25+ years in business Gord has run or participated in more than 2000 meetings! Not only is Gord the CEO of Business Expert Solutions Inc. (owner/operator of Meeting Leadership Inc), but he is also a Facilitator, Trainer, Business Consultant, Author, Speaker and Podcaster who helps leaders learn how to have great meetings, so they can build outstanding organizations and serve their clients at the highest possible level.

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