Let’s Meet in My Office in Ten Minutes

By Jack Limpert

I am reminded of what Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote about his time in the gulag, where he was able to think: “Because, and this is the main thing, there are no meetings. For 10 years you are free from all kinds of meetings! Is that not mountain air?”

—From Amy Leach’s review of the book, A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking, in the New York Times Book Review of December 13, 2015.
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In my 40 years at the Washingtonian, many thousands of meetings were inflicted on the editorial staff—most of them convened by me. What I learned:

The best meetings are two or three people getting together to talk about a specific idea or subject. Ten minutes usually is enough.

Four people are usually good.

Five people are sometimes good.

In meetings of six or more people, the smartest people tend to keep quiet to get it over with as quickly as possible.
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H/T to Mitch Gerber and Larry Van Dyne for passing along the Amy Leach quote.

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