Business Monday

Meetings are a good investment of time, CEOs agree

The question: How many meetings do you attend a week? Are they a good investment of your time?

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Meetings are always a good investment of time: they allow for better personal connections.

Daniel Ades, managing partner, Kawa Capital Management

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Report out meetings are a waste of time. Read reports on your own time. Meetings to collaborate and innovate are worth every minute. I try to avoid the former and promote the latter.

Christine Barney, CEO, RBB Communications

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I attend about 3 or 4 meetings a week. Mostly a very good investment of my time, especially when they are very productive toward my business.

Richard Behar, founder and president, Capital Clothing Corp.

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As a president/CEO of a large organization, I attend many meetings weekly with current and potential clients in addition to internal meetings with my team. I would say an average of two to three per day.

Carmen Castillo, president and CEO, SDI International

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I attend countless number of meetings; most of them are very productive. If they are not, the key is to end them quickly and make sure not to schedule a repeat.

Alice Cervera Lamadrid, managing partner, Cervera Real Estate

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I spend a sizeable portion of my week in meetings. They can be essential to maintaining focus and productivity. They can also become detrimental when done to excess. Striving to keep meetings short, on schedule and on subject are a few ways to maximize their benefits.

Jonathan Chariff, CEO, South Motors

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Hmmm, this is a tough one, and it definitely depends on the week. On average, I attend and arrange over 50 meetings a week. It is the nature of my business and necessary for our incubator. We are, however, playing with the format and framework of how we meet, such as video conferencing, calls, Google Hangouts, and social-media conferences like #localis (a Twitter, Facebook and Instagram international convening of people). Most of these meetings are very effective, and I think the variety helps keeps everyone fresh and engaged.

Pandwe Gibson, executive director, EcoTech Visions

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I generally attend 4 to 6 meetings a week. I don’t go to meetings unless they are a good investment of my time.

Julie Grimes, managing partner, Hilton Bentley Hotel

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A lot. Some of the meetings are good, some are a complete waste.

Felecia Hatcher, co-founder of Feverish Gourmet Pops

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It varies widely, but it probably averages around 10. Because I limit their number and duration, most are a good use of my time. Time is the only resource we can’t recover, so I hate to squander it on vacuous meetings.

Victor Mendelson, co-president, HEICO

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More than 20 meetings per week. For the most part, they are a good investment of my time.

Nitin Motwani, managing principal, Miami Worldcenter Associates

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I attend four standing meetings a week. Communication in a company is everything. Face-to-face meetings, though time-consuming, allow us to communicate more directly. We are always tweaking our meeting format. … duration, frequency and who should be in the room.

Abe Ng, founder and CEO of Sushi Maki

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I attend over 25 meetings a week. I make time for meetings that have the potential to be productive and that can lead to meaningful business relationships.

Todd Oretsky, co-founder, Pipeline Brickell

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I attend many external and internal meetings each week. It involves a very careful selection process of what most closely aligns with and helps me advance the agenda for the college. New perspectives and professional networking are important reasons to attend meetings. But it’s equally necessary to master the art of delegation.

Eduardo Padrón, president, Miami Dade College

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[My company] consists of a small team, so we meet often internally, but we typically keep it to brief, informal sit-downs. As for client meetings, how many is hard to say … but I have plenty! Thankfully, most are very productive.

Joanna Schwartz, CEO and co-founder, EarlyShares

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I am not sure how this should be answered contextually.

Dave Seleski, president and CEO, Stonegate Bank

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Absolutely a good time investment. I attend 10-15 meetings a week. I won’t attend a meeting unless I have the intended benefit defined.

Darryl K. Sharpton, president and CEO, The Sharpton Group

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This is an essential part of any day and an area where we place a lot of focus at [the firm]. We are very thoughtful about how we engage with our clients, among our lawyers and with the community. Emerging technologies make it possible to create new forms of interaction, but human interactions and relationships take priority. As a community, we need to make face-to-face time sacred. It makes a connection even more authentic and transparent; and it enhances every aspect of the interaction and the experience. These are just some of the fundamentals to building meaningful and lasting relationships.

Andrew Smulian, chairman and CEO, Akerman LLP

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It varies from week to week. Meetings are important and can be productive — it depends on the focus as to what they are about and identifying then following through on next steps. We all need time to do work that is not in meetings, so some discipline is needed about keeping meeting spaces free in the calendar.

Gillian Thomas, president and CEO, Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science

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The amount of meetings attended ranges week to week. The quality of these meetings is based on the agenda and who is overseeing that agenda. Though some meetings last longer and go a bit off-course, for the most part, we stick to a set agenda and focus on the issues at hand.

Paco Velez, CEO, Feeding South Florida

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Too many to count! I spend the first half of my day visiting each department, from sales, shipping to accounting and customer service, then I head to my office to work with the design team. Yes, they’re a good investment of my time, it’s all about teamwork, so I am constantly working directly with each of our teams. Throughout the day, we may have meetings, calls or be traveling to meet with suppliers, vendors or people or organizations we are collaborating with.

Alina Villasante, founder, Peace Love World clothing

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As a start-up, we do not host any formal internal meetings — we sit side by side and find impromptu discussions much more effective. I typically host Web-based meetings 2-3 times a week primarily for customer demos and overviews, which are very productive.

Marlon Williams, founder and CEO, Fenero

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I attend about 12 meetings in a typical week. By attending meetings in person, you invest professionally and personally in the relationship with the other party. Face time provides a human element to business that often gets lost in our email-, text-, and social media-driven society. Business is still personal. Some of the best deals in American history were done over a handshake and a glass of Scotch.

John Wood, president, Amicon Construction

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