Wisdom on meetings from a fighter pilot

I heard from a pastor friend yesterday. He was in staff meetings all day.

When meetings are mandatory, you can at least make them strategic if you do your homework. Here are three priceless insights on making progress in meetings. They come from the biography of John Boyd, the legendary fighter pilot who tangled with the Pentagon and influenced military strategy. (Caveat: His bio is fascinating, but it’s a rough read — plenty of blue language and a tragic family life.)

1. Don’t ever be wrong
Do your homework, don’t sling half-baked ideas, and never use imaginary statistics. (This means no one will be able to discredit your argument.)

2. Don’t attach your efforts to a particular initiative
Champion an accepted goal or value. The initiatives you reference should serve as tactical options for achieving the goal or value. (This makes your suggestions valid since no one will be able to challenge your objective.)

3. Play by the rules
Don’t go behind backs, leak secrets, caucus among the congregation, etc. (This means no one can derail your efforts because you play fair with your methods.)

Even Boyd’s worst enemies had to concede that his his presentations were unassailable. Imagine how they’d be received by a room full of friends.