Don’t go to a meeting empty-handed

Meetings can be horrible, horrible events.  My least favorite part is when a new work product (document, spreadsheet, website, etc.) needs to be created, and no one has taken the initiative to create the first draft.  This first draft seems so overwhelming to create initially, sometimes because there’s a lack of clear vision or direction; sometimes because creating the first of something is daunting for fear of doing it wrong; and often because we’re lazy.  However, there’s so much value in someone stepping up and making something – a shell, an outline, a sketch, a “scarecrow”; whatever you want to call it, to get the ball rolling.  So next time you’re in a discussion with a vacuum of tangible content, grab a blank sheet of paper, an empty PowerPoint slide, or a whiteboard and make something.

There is a risk that the person with the initiative can unintentionally become the owner of the artifact.  But owners are often (or at least should be) rewarded in organizations for stepping up and creating change instead of just talking about it.

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