I will admit i say this stuff with a forked tounge, seeing my hair is increasingly moving to having dual pointy bits. 

One problem i always have is keeping management type people involved in a project consistently over time.  Reality is if they are constantly going to managent type meetings - these drain the attention span to the point where it's hard to turn up to something consistently & go over the same stuff every week.  It's weird - you'd think these guys would be much better at this than they are.  Instead, the things they (are supposed to) get good at are glomming onto the latest set of stuff, getting up to speed on it & thinking of new directions/idea.  this is what they mean by strategic thinking, i guess...

My tricks:

  1. If you have to get people into a room every week for something, change the meeting request every 2 months or so.  change the organiser/meeting title/etc. 
  2. People are brown nosers, make sure they know that vp whoever is going to be there. 
  3. Drive the agenda. keep it consistent.  make sure you have enough time for discussion
  4. make sure you know who the randomiser of the meeting it.  there is always one & i even go to the point of admitting i am the designated randomiser of a specifc meeting now.
  5. be honest & funny - i tell people if i am going to be the asshole.
  6. if you have confrontations, talk to the people off line & make sure it's not personal.  steveb did this in the first meeting where he chewed me out & it made a huge difference to the way i look back at that now (i see it as a good thing as opposed to the death i felt then...)
  7. bottom line- whatever career/personal goal is going to be much better served by shipping the product than me having some little win. 

some other time i should talk about people who want to screw you & ways of dealing with them.