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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