“…and he’s always late to meetings…”
During a 360-evaluation on an exec or leader, I hear this complaint regularly. I ask the client: “What gets in the way of being on time?” It usually boils down to good intentions: s/he is overbooked with important meetings, trying to do too much in between, etc. And they get used to being late, as they think others have come to expect it of them, so there’s an implied understanding.
Let’s do the math: someone making $200,000 annually (a random number here) who’s always 5 minutes late, assuming 2,200 work hours per year, about half of which is in meetings, adds up to about $8,000 per year per person, times the average number of people in the meetings. Lateness wastes time and money.
Beyond that, I’ve also found that the chronically late leader is also late in their personal life. At home and work, the leader will let themselves off the hook too easily, because they are aware of it, yet don’t change it. Perhaps they’ll feel slightly guilty (or not), or rationalize it.
So it becomes a habit or routine—one that sends an arrogant and devaluing message: you’re less important than whatever else I have going on. And, it’s avoidable.
- What do you believe is the root cause of your routine of chronic lateness?
- If you were to refocus on being on time, what would you have to change about your commitments and/or calendar?
- If you were to refocus on being on time, what other habits or routines would you have to change?
- How would you like to be held accountable to changing your behavior around timeliness?
The Recovering Leader
Since 2006, I've shared here tips and ideas from my executive coaching practice and lessons-learned from my own experience as a C-level executive at a Fortune 500 company. Click on the "subscribe" link, on the top right, to receive emails of new posts when I add them. For more information about my coaching services, visit my coaching firm's site. Also, follow me on twitter at: recoveringleadr