A few months ago I had a dinner meeting with one of my clients. And, big surprise, they were late. Again.
Still, I figured I wouldn’t mention anything as I didn’t want to get sidetracked so we dove right in.
We talked about their life and some business opportunities that had come about and managed to get finished earlier than I had expected so I decided that maybe I could use the extra time we had to deal with an issue I felt might be an issue in their life – punctuality.
I commented that it’s possible that their punctuality, or lack thereof, might hinder them both privately and professionally.
They replied that they were never late for work as it was their job but that in their free time that they simply lost track of time. Hmmm…I wonder.
Call me strange but to me it’s not something we really separate.
Either you’re punctual or you aren’t. Either you’re a nice person, or you’re not.
A lot of people believe that they can be two different people; one at work and one in their free time but from what I’ve seen you’re either one, or the other.
Our habits are ingrained in us we don’t just turn them off and on.
And punctuality is one such habit that I go into some depth in my book, iSucceed.
In America there is such a thing as being “fashionably late” for a party.
The idea being that the host of the party is often running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get everything ready so to arrive on time really puts them under a lot of pressure so it’s very much acceptable for people to show up 30 minutes late.
Personally, I just don’t get it. I mean, if I tell someone to be there at 10am. I mean, 10am.
And believe me, the higher up on the ladder the more you’ll find this to be the case.
We’ve all head the expression “time is money” and for those millionaires and billionaires out there time is often an even more valuable resource, allocating it carefully.
One millionaire I know nearly always had a full schedule of things to do.
And yet, they could always find time to squeeze me in.
Busy, and yet free.
How did they manage that? By setting time aside for thought and fun their schedule could easily be adjusted but only for the right reasons.
- Show up late for a meeting with a millionaire and I guarantee that they’ll remember it. And it could very well cost you your chance to meet them again.
- Show up 30 minutes late and they’ve already moved on. Sometimes it’s one and out in this world.
- Show up on time and I’ve never had anyone complain.
Punctuality is a sign of how we value time and, more importantly, how you value the other person.
And you either value them, or you don’t.
When it comes to work sometimes we do things we don’t want to out of fear of losing out job but it’s easy enough to understand just who people are after hours.
That’s when we let their guard down and show their true colors.
Personally I used to let it slide, but as I get older and my business grows, I find myself more and more watching people’s attitude toward punctuality.
It says a lot about them.
And if you don’t believe me; remember this – in a study done of the most important qualities sought by managers skill-set (qualifications) came in at number 2, punctuality was number 1.