I really dislike being late for any appointment or activity. I like to arrive a little early to get the lay of the land, allow my brain to transition from the last thing I was doing to this thing (to be fully present), and make a connection or two with those around me.
But there are many, many people (and myself, on occasion) that seem to be OK with arriving late. So, I pondered: why wouldn’t we all want that peaceful state that I described above? Why do we not plan ahead of the time we know we must leave for an activity or appointment in order to get there on time or early? Why do we do that “one more thing” instead of getting in the car or heading down the hallway to the conference room?
I think there’s not enough respect for the people we are meeting. John Maxwell says that we need to put a “10” on everyone’s foreheads, giving them super-high value, not making them earn 9 ranks by starting them at a “1” when we meet them for the first time, or for the first time that day.
If we were to meet someone who could change our lives (like a surgeon or a dignitary or venture capitalist), would we be late for that appointment? Probably not. Why? Because we have assigned them very high value and don’t want to look foolish by devaluing them by our tardiness. So, why are we OK with making others wait–people who planned out their time to make a meeting with us a priority? They assigned our time together as valuable.
This is not meant to be judgmental–but instead a challenge. Raise your respect and honor in your heart for those you are scheduled to meet with, and see if that makes a difference in your planning for greeting them on time, and also in your expectancy of what will happen by that relational connection. And when you are unavoidably late or haven’t raised their value to the appropriate level, apologize profusely, making it a point to not do it again, and somehow add value back to them in another way.
Let’s change the culture! Oops, gotta run to take my son to lunch to Be On Time!