02.04.20163 min read

It’s Not OK that You’re Always Late—Even if You’re the Boss

By Jamillah Warner

As a communication consultant to small businesses, I’ve had the chance to debrief and train some of the most loyal and dynamic teams. These are the kind of team members that can take the boss's idea and routinely turn it into something concrete—under focused leadership. But every leader isn’t perfect (and neither is every employee).

The impact of making them wait

One of the flaws that I’ve seen is what Rusty Rueff, in an article for "US News & World Report," calls “the always late boss.” He says, “This boss is never on time for meetings, which wastes your time and can even make you look bad.” He follows up by saying, “This isn’t likely to change, so learn to cope.” In "How To Work With A Bad Boss," Rueff offers some great advice for the employee. But what if you’re the boss? You’re in charge. And you can make your staff wait if you want to; but if this is chronic issue, then it’s costing you.

The face of business is changing. Many teams consist of independent contractors, and many of the sharper and more dynamic employees are going off on their own. Why not be the best leader that you can be while managing your team, your brand and your time? Dr. Frederick K.C. Price, author of several lifestyle, leadership, and ministry books including "Integrity: The Guarantee for Success," believes that a person who is late does not value the time of others. When he mentors leaders, his initial requirements include dealing with time management and credit issues. If you keep a client waiting, you may lose the business. If you keep your mentor waiting, you may lose access to him or her.

But there’s also an impact when you keep your employees waiting—if this is an ongoing issue. I understand from experience and feedback from frustrated employees that ignoring the sometimes not-so-obvious expense of being chronically tardy can handicap your business in at least two ways—momentum and money.

  • Momentum: When it’s time for staff meetings, you want your team focused and excited. But if you run the meetings and you’re always running late, then there’s a chance that you’re stealing your own momentum. The ideas your team was anxious to share may turn into a quiet storm and a sense of underappreciation. They may never say anything to you—after all, you’re the boss—but the atmosphere and the motivation shifts.
  • Money: Six employees waiting 20 minutes for your arrival is two hours worth of work that you paid for but didn’t receive the best results from. It’s a commonly accepted rule in business that time is money. Not just your time, but your employees' time, too.

Your employees can take advantage of the "6 Solutions For A Chronically Late Boss" that Business Management Daily shares. Or you can dig into the "6 Bold Faced Time Management Lies We Tell Ourselves Every Day" by Sid Savara and make a few savvy and simple changes—such as not telling yourself lies like "This will just take a minute" and allowing yourself more time to get things done—that will be a great boost for your personal brand as a leader.


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