People are always saying to me that they have no time. No time to do what's important. To do things that will get them promoted. To do things to develop themselves. To read a book. To spend time with family.
Looking around, no one, and I mean no one, can run a meeting . Not even the top of your organisation. Does this sound familiar, waiting for a senior to come into a lower level meeting and they are always late? This has a cascading effect throughout the organisation and it shows others that this is acceptable. When others get promoted, they also stack their meetings back-to-back and are proud that they are late for everything because they are so important and so busy.
No one is thinking like Tim Ferriss' quote: "Busyness is a form of laziness. Lazy thinking and indiscriminate action" 80% of senior managers are just busy and it cripples organisations.
It stems from the "being in the office" culture. It does not matter what you do, as no one knows what anyone else does in a large organisation anyway. It only matters what you are seen to be doing.
It does not matter that two senior managers who can't use excel spend until midnight filling out a new tracker by hand, not using formulas and calculating things on their phone and typing it in. It does not matter that someone else could have done what took them 6 hours of work in 10minutes. They are lauded for burning the midnight oil, for going the extra mile.
So, no one is thinking about meetings because it is an easy way to stay in the office longer. Yet, for people that are truly busy (they cannot get the work done which is needed to keep the organisation running, even if working all waking hours), they must prioritise. And they the easiest thing to cut is meetings.
Don't go to them. Leave after your part (hardly anyone does this, because meetings are a jolly, especially off site ones). Or actually pay attention and move them along, even when you are not the leader.
Running meetings is hard. It should not be left to chance. Like being mindful of your time is hard if you do not focus on it consistently.