Stop making people wait

And start valuing their time!

Like a large percentage of the population I like to be early. I can?t stand the thought of someone having to wait for me and so I?ll plan my calendar very carefully to ensure I?m on time. Now, I?ll admit there have been times where I?ve been late, but it?s the exception, rather than the rule.

Arriving early gives me the opportunity to prepare for my meeting, get in the right frame of mind and also catch up on other work while I wait.

What I have never understood, despite the research, case studies, blogs and books is how some people are notoriously late ? to nearly every meeting ? even when they?ve scheduled it! And I?ve noticed that managers are at the top of this list. Perhaps they see their transition into a management position as a big deal and take on a celebrity-like persona. They become a diva-leader!

Think Kanye West for example, who is notoriously late and claims (in a song) that he does it for his fans, who should be ?honored by my lateness.? Think Miley Cyrus who said ?I?m always late. I just have so much going on?. Think Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Russell Crowe who are all guilty of arriving late. I wonder when they decided that their time was more important than everyone else?s? I?m sure they weren?t late for their first audition! I?m sure they wouldn?t arrive late for tea with the Queen either!

And while celebrities tend to get away with being ?fashionably late?, you don?t. The impact of your tardiness, as a manager, can have far worse consequences on the engagement and morale of your staff. Every time you run late to a meeting you risk them:

  • Disengaging – If you don?t respect my time then I don?t care!
  • Missing deadlines – If time doesn?t matter to you then why should I bust my ass to meet deadlines!
  • Arriving late themselves – Monkey see monkey do right!
  • Getting angry – I?m busy and I can get here on time, why can?t you!!

Time is precious, it?s the one thing we can?t get back and remains the cause of so much frustration and anxiety. While we can all appreciate running late is sometimes unavoidable, when it becomes a common occurrence it?s disrespectful and your excuses quickly wear thin.

So, if you?re a leader who?s trying to improve the culture, engagement and performance of your team make sure you?re on time to your meetings. It?s often the smallest things that make the biggest difference!


Shelley Flett is a passionate leader with a keen focus on creating dynamic team environments through adaptable leadership. She is a leadership coach, trainer, facilitator, mentor and speaker who ignites vision and purpose in those she works with.


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