Most people don’t like to have their time wasted with unnecessary meetings.
But founder and CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk has a strategy to keep things moving, according to a former employee at the company who posted on Quora.
The SpaceX employee relayed a story where Musk once called out an employee in a meeting. The employee wrote:
“One of my close friends started there a couple years before me. He worked (and still does) in an analysis group, so meetings made less sense when you could just walk over and ask someone a question. He told me a story one time (this is paraphrased):
“Elon to a meeting member: ‘You haven’t said anything. Why are you in here?’”
The former employee further explained Musk’s rationale for making such a blunt proclamation.
“That may be borderline rude, but it makes sense,” he wrote. “Don’t be in a meeting unless there’s a purpose for it; either to make a decision, or get people up to speed. In most cases, an email will suffice.”
Musk isn’t the only CEO who values running an efficient meeting. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos employs the “two pizza rule” to cut down on meeting bloat.
His thinking is simple: Meetings should be small enough where two pizzas would be enough to feed the entire group. If two pizzas are not enough, the meeting is probably too big and won’t be productive.
Bezos also told Fortune in 2012 that some meetings with senior executives begin with silent reading time, during which all attendees familiarise themselves with a memo describing the matter at hand, take notes, and mull over the issues before beginning the discussion. That way, he said, he gets everyone’s attention immediately.
Because no one likes to waste time in a conference room.
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