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Passion, People and Principles

History Lesson

post # 117 — June 25, 2006 — a Careers post

A lesson I learned early and still apply to my advantage (and, of course, in the service of others.)

Always volunteer to take the minutes of meetings, and to do the first drafts of proposed initiatives or reports. Not only will you get credit for volunteering to do things on behalf of others, but you get control of what’s recorded. You are now part of the decision-making process. He or she who writes the history gets to make history.


Mark Gould said:

I had a colleague once who took this a stage further: he claimed that he would write the minutes before the meeting.

In fact, I suspect he never did, bit the point he was making is a good one. He never had a meeting that he did not plan meticulously, to the extent that he could predict which participants would object to or support which proposed courses of action.

The result is that he is extremely successful in his field. Perhaps making history involves writing it in advance.

posted on June 25, 2006

Eric Boehme said:

Yes, yes, and yes.

This is excelent advice, David. Thanks for sharing with those lucky enough to read this post!


posted on June 26, 2006

ann michael said:

I used to run a Program Office inside of a publishing company. This was something I asked every Project Manager on my team to do for the same reason.

It has to do with inertia – when you are the one taking the action, inertia is on your side. When someone else takes an action you (if needed) must fight/overcome the inertia they put into motion.

About inertia:


posted on July 9, 2006

Artem said:

Absolutely agree with your last sentence. Only people who write history can make it.

posted on September 16, 2007