CAM 008: How Senior Leaders Can Create Awesome Meetings

If you’re a Senior Leader, Manager or Executive who is in so many meetings that you don’t have time to do your regular work, then episode 8 of the Create Awesome Meetings Podcast is must-listen.

That’s because today’s guest is Larry Schwenneker, a former Senior Director in Education, who not only ran a budget in excess of 500 million dollars, but who also figured out how to thrive in many of the thousands of meetings that he ran, and participated in.

In this episode Larry shares his best insights about how to run fantastic senior level meetings including:

  • Why teaching other people how they should treat you during meetings is so important
  • How to stay on track and be respectful of all of the participant’s time during meetings
  • How you can make sure that nobody hijacks the meeting
  • How to be clear about who you need in a meeting, and how well prepared they should be
  • Why participants should always demand an agenda, and if they don’t get one before the meeting, why they should refuse to participate
  • How each person who speaks should have a time limit, and if they go over that time limit then they should ask someone else to give up some of their time
  • How peer pressure helps to create awesome meetings
  • Why you should close the door when the meeting starts and not let any stragglers in, including your boss
  • Why we need more nouns and verbs, and less adjectives and adverbs during meetings
  • How effective meetings improve the overall quality of your life as well as the lives of everyone in your organization

Larry’s Top 3 Meeting Management Techniques

  1. Participate with purpose
  2. Manage time well before, during and after the meeting
  3. Make the meeting as meaningful as possible

About Larry Schwenneker

During his 35 year career as an educational administrator, Larry Schwenneker participated in, and ran, thousands of meetings. For the last 14 years he was the Senior Director of Facilities, Design, Construction, Energy and Environment who oversaw more than 200 schools and 9000 students and staff. At the peak of his career Larry was in charge of more than 500 million dollars in spending and as a result, he had to run effective meetings.

These days Larry is retired and has ‘re-purposed’ himself as the owner of Topika Training and Development through which he helps organizations to become more effective overall. You can get in touch with Larry at


“If you’re spending more time talking about meetings than the actual time you’re spending in meetings, then there is a problem.”

Gord Sheppard, Professional Meeting Facilitator and Consultant

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