1.Assign Homework

Ask participants to outline key opportunities and challenges before the strategy sessions begin.

2.Stay Focused

Ban cell phones and BlackBerrys and keep breaks to a minimum.

3.Watch the Clock

Set time limits for goal-setting exercises--but refuse to adjourn meetings until a consensus is reached.

4.Lighten Up

McFarland conducts sessions bare-foot, and livens proceedings by showing clips from films like Caddyshack.

5.Keep At It

The first 48 hours are only the beginning. Strategic goals should be revisited every 90 days.

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