Recently I purchased a new dress. I am one of those people that purchases clothes, shoes, accessories and so on based on what I like rather than if it’s expensive, inexpensive, on trend, a friend has it or it carries a designer label. Recently I fell in love with a dress and in this case it was expensive. Perfect fit, suited what I was after and doesn’t need ironing, a bonus (ironing is my pet hate). I got the dress home and was hit with the guilt of what I had spent on this one item. I then came up with an idea of “cost per wear”. How many times would I need to wear this ensemble to get any return? I think I’ve almost worn it to death so cost per wear has come in relatively low so a good purchasing decision after all.

It got me to thinking about a topic that comes up a lot with my clients and that is the topic of “meetings”. Meetings that go around and around, I almost liken them to a circle where half of the time the actions aren’t followed up and the next meeting is based on the same agenda and topics as the one prior. Usually they are held in the same place, people sitting in the same chairs with the same talking head steering the agenda to fit in with the given time locked away for this catch up.

I wonder if it’s worth looking at breaking down, similar to the “cost per wear” idea that helped me justify my favourite purchase of late, my dress! I’ve come up with an idea to break down the “cost per meeting” that we attend, organise or physically turn up to with our mind drifting somewhere else. I wonder also is the term “meeting” too soft and purposeless? I have discussed this with clients and whether they are running SLT, team or partner meetings, maybe a meeting shouldn’t be called a meeting in the first place. That might be another blog.

A few key things come to mind when measuring what a “meeting” (we will use this term for now) might cost you;


How much time and resource does it take to plan the meeting? We need to factor in what we actually do and put together to plan as well as others that are involved. Take into account things such as resources like an EA to coordinate the time, venue and logistics. When you are planning what are you not focusing on? What is being left behind or on hold?


A bit like filling up a cup with water, you can only fill it to the rim. The same applies with our energy reserves, we only a have a certain amount of pure, unadulterated energy to burn and we need to be conscious of where and when we expend this. We need to be doing the right things at the right times to get the right results. What could we be doing with our energy that may give us a better return? I call this our “ROE” – our return on energy.


I believe that there is no such thing as time management, time is what it is. What I do subscribe to is “self management”, that is having the ability and skills to influence what we can control such as the things we do and when. The minutes will always be ticking away, the only thing we can change is the way we use them. How much time do you put into meetings prior, during and with post meeting follow up?What does this time cost your business or organisation financially?


In my newly published book “Limitless leadership” I delve into the topic of the voice versus the noise. The noise being the distracting, energy zapping heavy fog in our heads we want to avoid and give no airtime to. For each and every meeting we attend what level of noise comes from this? Does this serve our overall objectives? Something to think about as this has a direct effect on your energy, headspace and therefore your time and what you do next.

Meetings happen and I get that, sometimes they are necessary. I do challenge you to think about the “why” of the meetings you run or attend and the costs associated with them. Shake them up, change the environment and who is running them, look at the frequency and the mode of the meeting. Attend the ones that benefit you and the organisation so they are not just another time zapper where we don't question and ask why we do the things we do. We can apply this thinking to anything we do professionally or personally, questioning why we do what we do so we live as “human beings” not “human doings.”

Renée Giarrusso


Renée has just published her first book “Limitless Leadership” – A guide to leading from the inside out.

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Renée Giarrusso is an accomplished author, facilitator, speaker, trainer and coach who works with high performing leaders and their teams across a myriad of industries and organisations.

She passionately helps leaders fulfil their full potential resulting in increased motivation, communication and connection. Her expertise in growing and developing capability and behavioural change around leadership, communication, transition, presenting and sales effectiveness leave her clients inspired, re-energised and with improved results.


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