100 Ways to Succeed #24:

Agenda-NoteTaker-Notes Publisher “Spin” Power!

He/She who writes the Agenda and Summary Doc (innocently called “Meeting Notes”) wields … Incredible Power!

Believe it!

The question is innocent, “What should we cover at the Weekly Review Meeting?” The response is not. The “agenda” is in and of itself a Group “To-Do” list. (More important than any pretentious “strategic plan”.) And: A “To-Don’t” list. (What’s left off … to the Supreme Annoyance of many Power Players.) Moreover, some stuff will be at the Top … some at the bottom (and probably won’t get covered, or be given short shrift). Hence a “mere” agenda Establishes & Determines the Group Conversation for, say, the week, or even the Quarter. And … the lovely catch … concocting the Agenda by soliciting members is typically a “crappy task,” unwanted by one and (almost) all.

My message: GRAB IT!
(And chortle as you do.)

Of at least as much importance is the grubby-demeaning “Notetaker” (and Publisher thereof) task. Talk about … UNVARNISHED POWER! Everybody is so damn busy preening, interrupting, bullheadedly pushing their pet peeve, etc … that they seldom hear what actually goes on. Only the meek & quiet Notetaker knows the story; and long after the participants have washed the memory of the meeting clean from their crowded lives, the Notetaker’s Summary comes along explaining what transpired … Carefully Edited.

You get my drift, I presume. The “powerless” soul who agrees to “develop the agenda,” “take the notes,” and “publish the notes” … may just be the … TRUE POWER PLAYER!

(I believe this so strongly and fear it so greatly that I religiously publish my own version of notes, in summary form (never more than 4 or 5 lines), within minutes of the end of a meeting—just to try and co-opt the damned notetaker. I call it … Spin!)

Tom Peters posted this on November 8, 2004, in Success Tips.
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