Mom and Dad were flying to Roanoke to visit us. Their flight left Shreveport at 10 AM.
What time does Dad arrive at the airport? 6 AM.
Yes, Dad and Mom were at the airport four hours before the flight was scheduled to leave.
Mind you, the Shreveport airport has a total of six gates…Atlanta it is not.
If Dad had a meeting, he showed up at least 15 minutes early. It was a cardinal sin to be late. To be late was inexcusable. Dad’s punctuality wasn’t a result of some superior beating down on him. He was a leader in the Air Force. After the military, he took at job with Brown and Root and led an electrical maintenance team at a paper mill in Louisiana. Understand this–Dad wasn’t following an example, he was setting it.
As the leader, don’t just be on time, be early. You’re showing the other party great respect by communicating they’re worth even MORE of your time.
What does being late say to those you’re meeting with?
I’m more important.
My time is more valuable than yours.
What I’m dealing with is more critical than what you’re trying to solve.
I am superior.
Once you’re in the meeting, be present. Don’t look at your watch. Give them your full attention. Make sure the room knows how much time you have for the meeting. While there, nothing else interrupts the meeting.
Never be late.
Do those things and you’ll be a better leader. Your team will respect you and know that they can count on you when it comes to meetings. If you want your team to be on time, then the leader has to be on time. You have to set the example.
If you ever met my Dad, you would know that he walked at a pace of 50 mph. Why? He didn’t want to be late!
Be like Dad.
Do these things…and you’ll be on the path to leadership endurance.