Attending Meetings Is an Activity, Not an Accomplishment

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump shows a photograph a supporter wants him to sign, during the final round of the Cadillac Championship golf tournament, Sunday, March 6, 2016, in Doral, Fla. (AP Photo/Luis Alvarez)

Yesterday’s Washington Times reported that since the midterms, President Trump has spent most of his time in what’s known as “executive time,” interpreted by some folks as “not working.” The President’s private schedule was obviously leaked by some disgruntled insider. From the article:


“The majority of President Trump’s scheduled time during the past three months in the White House has been spent in unstructured “executive time,” according to a leak.

Since the 2018 midterm elections, Trump spent almost 300 hours in executive time — or time for which nothing was planned for the president —Axios reported Sunday. The outlet obtained Trump’s private schedules dating back to Nov. 7, the day after the midterm elections.

During the same time frame, the president spent 77 hours in meetings, which have given him and his staff the opportunity to plan policy, legislative strategy, and video recordings.”

The tone of the Axios and Times reports implied that spending only 77 hours in meetings versus 300 hours of “executive time” was a bad thing.

This is the type of ill-informed garbage that folks who have never been in charge of anything spew. Successful executives in both the military and the civilian world know that most meetings are a waste of time, serving only to stroke the egos of the participants and/or engender some sense of accomplishment. Most executives also know that most of their real work is conducted out with the troops, not in the office.


Carly Fiorina stated it best in a retort regarding Secretary Clinton’s “accomplishment” of flying over a million miles as Secretary—“Flying is an activity, not an accomplishment.” I would say the same thing, about meetings: They are an activity, not an accomplishment.

Mike Ford is a retired Infantry Colonel who writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

You can find his other Red State work here.



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