Your Meeting Needs A Mission!

You’ve got your agenda lined up and sent out. Congrats, you’ve done the right thing to prepare for the meeting you’re hosting.

But have you asked yourself this two-part question? First: “What do we intend to accomplish before walking out the door?” Second: “Do the people I invited know the answer to that question walking in the door?”

If doing this has escaped you, your meeting could very well suck. Why? Because your response to this two-part question will get at what most meetings lack—focus and results.

To gain that focus, use a key Suckification Reduction Device (SRD) that can get you the results you want. What is it? Write a mission and outcome statement for your meeting. And not just one meeting—every meeting! 

In fact, writing mission and outcome statements should be done before ever setting your agenda. Every time you plan a meeting, repeat this like a mantra: “Why am I having this, and what result do I want everyone to walk out with?”

Instead of risking the chance people will mindlessly sit through yet another boring meeting, make sure your attendees have the meeting’s stated mission and desired outcome beforehand. Then everyone can walk in focused on achieving the intended result—and walk out with a sense of accomplishment.

At the top of your written agenda—and the first thing out of your mouth at your meeting—you would state (for example):

Mission: Review proposal from voice over IP providers

Outcome: Walk out the door with the top two proposals selected and scheduled personal presentations from each.

Try it! You’ll see that stating a Mission and Outcome will drive results—much more rewarding than having discussions that lead to the never-ending cycle of more meetings.

Here are two more examples:

Mission: Discuss logo ideas for the Bore No More movement

Outcome: We will walk out the door when we identify the top three traits that represent the Bore No More brand.

Mission: Update all employees on the retirement plan options

Outcomes: Confirm that all team members took part in the meeting and have access to review their plans privately with a financial consultant.

To truly reduce the likelihood of your meeting sucking, create similar Mission and Outcome statements for every single one.  When you do, attendees will gain a sense of accomplishment, even triumph, and look forward to the next results-oriented meeting you host.  

Isn’t that a whole lot better than hearing reactions like “Think of all the things I could have done instead!”?


Jon Petz is a keynote speaker, master of ceremony, and author of Boring Meetings Suck, Get More Out of Your Meetings, Or Get OUT of More Meetings (Wiley Publishing 2011). Learn how to GET MORE out of your meetings in our short-attention-span-high-distraction world. Pick up Boring Meetings Suck at your local bookstore or at


Posted by Jon Petz in Articles, Ask the Expert, Effective Meetings Skills and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

1 Comment

  1. […] Your Meeting Needs A Mission! […]

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