Recently I was browsing through Inc magazine online and I come across an article, a part of which I feel particularly impressed to share. The article is a recap of an email that Tesla’s co-founder Elon Musk (handsome ‘Mr. McChisel’ pictured above) sent to all Tesla employees. In his email, he lists several actions aimed at increasing Tesla’s profitability. Here is the section of that email I want to highlight.
“Get rid of all large meetings unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience, in which case, keep them very short.”
“Also get rid of frequent meetings, unless you are dealing with an extremely urgent matter. Meeting frequency should drop rapidly once the urgent matter is resolved.”
“Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value. It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.”
How could any manager anywhere in the world not LOVE this counsel? When I read it I thought, “Good on you Elon. Way to go!”
When I’m asked to analyze workplace environments, one of the most consistent findings I uncover is team member disdain for meetings. Terms I often hear connected with meetings are phrases like, pointless, useless, waste of time, jab my eyes out with a fork… you get the picture. The point is, if you feel it’s necessary to have a meeting, then by all means, have it. Just be sure the time spent there is time well spent.
A common saying about meetings is that they are events where minutes are taken, and hours are lost. If you want to increase your management performance, don’t let this be said of your meetings.