Leaders are early, followers are late, and nobody is on-time!

Have you ever considered the impossibility of being punctual?

In 2002, I was responsible for the performance of 120 revenue auditors in the finance department of a 96 year old, $20 Billion company. Committed to excellence, I had to come up with a way to help subordinates become as nearly to 100% punctual as possible.

Define the phrase, “on time.” Nine ‘O’clock is an instant, and a second before or after is early or late. Once the goal is identified it was easy to see the problem, and its solution seem to present itself. On-time is too small of a target to be practically useful yet early or late are relatively large, and late unacceptable. Early is the only choice!

If you’re reading this and thinking a few seconds after is still on time, you are wrong. Our perceptions are not how others see us! The lady or gentleman you have an appointment with is not going to see it that way. When the second hand on the Rolex Datejust passes the tick mark at the top of the dial, you’re late! You are now walking through the door after the agreed upon time. If you believe you’re on time because you see 9:00 appear as you approach the door, keep in mind that your prospect or client was there at 8:55 or 8:47. They’re waiting for you and 9am has passed.

You can capture punctuality with only one choice. Choosing to be 5, 10, 20 minutes, or an hour early is a much larger target than an instant. By choosing the positive and large option known as early, you will also be on time and simultaneously prevent being late. Early is the only option for successful professionals who are committed to excellence.

Being early is the only sure way to be punctual and at the same time, prevent tardiness.

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