- Mark Cuban, billionaire entrepreneur, criticizes the overuse of meetings, declaring them a productivity sinkhole, and advocates for their replacement with concise emails.
- According to Cuban, unnecessary meetings and calls, often deviating into trivial small talk, pose a significant obstacle to effective time management.
- The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an explosion of virtual meetings, exacerbating an already pervasive issue and further endorsing Cuban's preference for email communication.
Meetings could be condensed into emails, declares billionaire mogul Mark Cuban. The multi-faceted businessman, Dallas Mavericks proprietor, regular face on "Shark Tank," author, and doting father of three, has no extra minutes to squander. To him, meetings are a drain on productivity and a black hole for precious hours.
In a dynamic exchange with bestselling author Chris Voss on the revolutionary streaming service, Fireside, which Cuban had a hand in creating, he posits that society has a proclivity to "over-meet and over-call." This penchant, he explains, cannibalizes time that could be better spent elsewhere.
Cuban's emphasis on mastering his own time is a consistent theme in his success story. To him, meetings are a persistent roadblock on the path to optimal time management. His typically jam-packed day initiates with a 6:30 a.m. rise, responding to a wave of emails, nourishing breakfast, a workout session, before plunging headfirst into the rest of the workday. Rigorous time management is not an option, but a necessity for his success.
Cuban's meeting policy is stringent and reserved for absolute necessities. "I aim to hold meetings only if they lead to a decisive outcome, or if there's absolutely no other way — the same holds for phone calls," he shared with Voss. He points out that meetings often derail due to mundane chit-chat about donuts or one's children, rather than pursuing a productive agenda.
As per a 2019 poll by organizational consulting firm Korn Ferry, over half of employees confessed that meetings were merely an interruption in their work. The Covid-19 pandemic further exacerbated this issue. Physical meeting rooms transitioned to virtual spaces like Zoom, and a simple desk query morphed into virtual huddles on Microsoft Teams or Slack. This opened up more avenues to host meetings, leading to a surge in their frequency. Cuban, a long-standing critic of excessive meetings, quips about his early-career tactic of removing chairs from meeting rooms to expedite their conclusion. Today, he favors email for business communication, valuing the flexibility it provides in response times.
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