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A good senior-manager move: insist on an agenda before agreeing to attend a meeting

A recent post invited readers to send me examples of good management. Dan Williams at T-Mobile obliged, and I thank him. He gave me permission to quote and cite him.

“I have an example that has stuck with me throughout my career. My first general counsel wouldn’t even entertain a meeting request unless it was accompanied by an agenda. Then, he’d review the agenda and decide whether it was worth his time to attend or simply deal with the issue via popping into the person’s office, calling them, or later, e-mailing them. This practice was coupled with open door time that he kept because he minimized his meetings. As I’ve progressed through my career, his time management technique has stayed with me as a glorious goal that I’m still trying to master.”

Agendas drive meetings, but this different use of them makes much sense.