Time is precious. We only have so many years on this Earth, only 7 days a week, and only 24 hours in a day. Sadly, too many leaders waste MUCH of the time they are given. When you waste time it can have a negative impact on your leadership and your relationships.
I challenge you to adopt the five habits of the “On-Time” Leader!
1. Arrive ON TIME! If you are supposed to meet someone for lunch, be at a staff meeting, or attend an event – arrive ON TIME! When you arrive late it sends a message to the person you are meeting that “I didn’t value your time enough to plan ahead so I would be on time.”
2. Start ON TIME!
If you are leading a meeting or event – start on time. If you say the meeting starts at 6, then start at 6 – not 6:04. When you consistently start late, even if you are trying to be courteous to the late arrivals, you are training your people to arrive late. You are also sending a value message to those who did make sure to arrive early that their time is not as important as those who arrived late.
3. End ON TIME!
Nothing is worse than when an event or meeting is advertised to end at a certain time and the leader of the meeting becomes so engrossed in the sound of their own voice that they allow the meeting to creep past the end time that was announced. The more your tendency to go over time in your meetings, the less likely you are to get people to return to your meetings.
4. Redefine what ON TIME means!
All of my team (including those 5th graders on my Junior Leadership Team) can quote you my philosophy when it comes to on time. I always tell them, “If you’re early – you’re ON TIME. If you’re ON TIME – you’re late. If you’re late – there’s NO EXCUSE!” If you are a leader, you can’t be walking into a meeting or event right at the advertised start time. You must be early to set the tone for the meeting and mingle with those who are attending.
5. Expect the unexpected!
Allow extra time for unexpected details that might derail your plans. This goes for when you are planning a meeting, planning how much time it will take to travel somewhere, etc. If you build in time for the “unexpected”, then you will no doubt be ON TIME.