(c) Alex Gaidouk

Most of these “Leadership Proverbs” I’ve just picked up, absorbed and imbibed by some process of osmosis along the way and don’t know exactly whom they originated from. But when I know I’ll make reference, and when I don’t it’s not that I’m ungrateful or that I want to appear like a genius. It’s genuinely that I can’t remember. So if I’ve flogged something from you let me know and I’ll happily acknowledge it.

These 3 tips for arriving on time at the end I learnt from Tim Hawkins.

Arrive on Time

Arriving on time is one of the most important, yet under-rated, things you can do as you lead your team.

One reason for this is because arriving on time communicates to your team that you’re a person who keeps their word. And if you show that you keep your word even in small things like arriving when you say you will then that will give them confidence that you’ll keep your word in bigger things. Because being on time is a character issue. Will you do what you say you’ll do? Are you reliable? Can people trust you? Your level of faithfulness in small things shows a lot about whether you can be faithful in big things.

Another reason being on time is so important is because it also shows respect to your team who arrived on time and worked hard to make it. If you’ve got someone who came straight from work and didn’t even have time to go home and get changed or have something to eat, and then you walk in late, it dishonours their effort and lowers your standing in their eyes and diminishes their loyalty to you.

However, if you do arrive late for whatever reason the best way forward is to simply walk in and apologise genuinely and profusely. No excuses, no minimising. Just simply apologise to the whole team for being late, make sure you give everyone eye contact and make sure they know you value their effort to get there when they said they would, and start the meeting. Maybe you tell them your valid excuse a bit later on, or maybe you don’t. But excuses won’t honour them, though an apology might.

But if you can plan to arrive even with forgetting your wallet, and all the red lights, and a last minute phone call, and still be on time, you communicate that this group and this meeting are important.

One further reason why arriving on time is so crucial is because it models to your team that you expect them to arrive to things on time, too. It shows them the way you want them to behave.

Some people come from families that were always on time with everything, and some people come from families who were never on time to anything. So some of us have more to fight against here than others, but everyone needs to actively work hard to be on time. No one consistently arrives on time by accident.

Here are 3 tips to help you be on time:

  • There is no such thing as a 5 minute car trip
  • If you plan to be on time you won’t be – plan to be early
  • Driving in the driveway on time isn’t the same as being on time.