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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, January 21, 2017 10:01 pm

Distribute notes from meetings promptly

Lisa Green | The Journal Gazette

The notes, please.

And quickly.

I’m a fan of seeing notes – also known as the minutes – from meetings as soon as possible.

They’re such a good way of documenting the critical conversation and making sure everyone is on the same page, particularly about why decisions were made and certainly what comes next. It’s helpful for people who were at a meeting and an efficient way to get others who weren’t up to speed. That’s why sooner, rather than later, is better.

Last week I was trying to remember a few details from a meeting just a few weeks ago and couldn’t. I didn’t have the minutes yet. And because I knew someone else was taking minutes, I took very few notes. So the choice was to wait for the minutes, whenever they might surface, or email or text someone to confirm a few details I was missing before I could put something in motion.

On occasion, notetakers have a tendency to wait to share minutes until just before the next scheduled meeting. I think there are more advantages of getting them out sooner, and leaders should encourage that. Even for the notetaker, it’s easier to be accurate and ensure information is in context if minutes are completed soon after meetings.

I’ve been the secretary for one group at least a dozen years. Usually, I get the minutes out before midnight the same day. Anytime I’ve ever waited a day or more to write minutes, the more of a task it seems to be. That’s probably because the information isn’t as fresh, and even with notes, I begin to second-guess the discussions I’m trying to document.

Notetaking is sometimes left to the leader. But when that added responsibility falls there, it can be more difficult for leaders to guide conversation and ensure the meeting remains efficient. Dedicated secretaries are valuable.

"Writing minutes can take time, and may seem like an unimportant task compared with getting on with "real work," but in fact not taking meeting minutes can be costly in terms of both time and resources," according to one article on the website "If you don’t take minutes, you will find that your colleagues have different recollections from the meeting than you. They also may have different ideas about what was agreed. If there are no minutes, then important tasks will be forgotten or not achieved by the due date."

The notes, please.


New leadership podcast

Realtors, brokers and developers might be among those most interested in a new podcast series The Urban Land Institute announced last week.

The series, "Leading Voices with ULI," offers personal leadership stories from "some of the most innovative professionals in the real estate and land use industries," a news release said.

The podcasts will look at leaders’ career journeys, including obstacles overcome, and reflections. Produced by the ULI Leadership Network, the podcasts even explore the effect of factors such as upbringing and social experiences.

"We are excited about the potential of the series to inspire and guide the next generation of industry leaders," said ULI Global Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips.

The series will be hosted by ULI Foundation Governor Matt Slepin, founder of the San Francisco-based Terra Search Partners, a national executive search firm helping real estate companies build successful teams.

"We are talking to leaders and founders of companies, elected and career government officials, business leaders, and others who are making a huge difference in their communities," Slepin said in a statement. "The podcast series is an opportunity to do deep dives with these people about the genius of their work, the roots of their passion, and what got them to where they are in their careers."

Each episode in the series will be available for public download for a limited time before being moved to ULI member–only access. Listeners can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or find episodes at


To share a thought, a favorite quote or other wisdom about leadership, email Lisa Green at Lead On also appears online as a blog at