I just read a new post by Dan McCarthy from the Great Leadership blog about how being on time is an important attribute of a good leader. I could not agree more. Being late (or worse, being AWOL) says a lot more about who we are than we realize.
- If we are habitually late, we are telling people that we disrespect their time.
- If we are always on time for meetings with big kahunas, but are habitually late to meetings where we ourselves are the big kahunas, we are telling our team members that we respect our rank more than we respect them.
Lateness in deliverables also communicates disrespect.
- If we are habitually and substantially late with our deliverables to other team members, despite a clearly defined schedule everyone agreed upon, we are telling people that we not only disrespect them, but we think little of our commitment to the projects we are working on with them.
- We are teaching people not to trust us when we promise anything.
- Over time, if people have a choice, they will try to avoid working with us altogether, since they can’t get their job done if they have to depend on us. It doesn’t get much more career limiting than that.
Punctuality is a window into our core values. We should all watch what is showing through that window.