I was just smacked in the face by a recent blog post by my dear friend Jeffrey Zeldman, Free advice: show up early, about the consequences of being late to client meetings. Why? Because it forced me to finally fess up to one of my major flaws: I’m always five minutes late.
Sure, five minutes is better than 20 minutes, but late is late. I always have a good excuse, but excuses are inexcusable.
“If 80% of success is just showing up, 90% is showing up early.”
People rarely complain about my constant tardiness, but I think they’re just being nice. I don’t want to wait for it to tarnish my reputation before I do something to change it. After all, I’ve dedicated my career to creating positive experiences. Why should I neglect the experience I create for my clients? (and colleagues, and friends, and family)
So I’m making a vow: From this day forward I will show up everywhere five minutes early. I’ll be the one who has to wait. I’ll bring a book, or a crossword or KenKen puzzle, or I’ll just make that phone call I’ve been putting off. Whatever I have to do to kill the time, in the long run it will make a tremendous difference in how I’m perceived.
I hope you hold me to this. If I’m late to meet you, I expect you to tell the world about it here in the comments. I deserve to be called out, and I want to be better.
I can’t wait to see how life will change when I’m not running late.
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