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If You’re On Time, You’re Late!

One of the most precious resources we have is our time. The same is true for the people we encounter. The respect we pay to those around us by being on time and keeping our time commitments says a lot about our character. So does the disrespect of not being on time and not keeping our time commitments.

Somewhere along the way it became acceptable to be routinely late. I’m not referencing the occasional tardiness. We’re all busy, and sometimes life gets in the way. Despite my attention to promptness, I’m late from time to time. A conference call goes longer than planned. Traffic from an auto accident extends the normal commute. I get that, and I understand that. What I’m referencing is the pattern of consistency in never being on time that speaks volumes about how we respect those around us.

Someone early in my life told me, “If you’re on time, you’re late.” For whatever reason, that comment has stuck with me over the decades, and I take it seriously. Some people, however, chuckle about their inability to be on time. But let’s be honest about what it is. It’s rude. It’s inconsiderate. And it’s unacceptable. I used to work with a lady who would say, “I can’t help it. I’m just always late.” Wrong. Timeliness is a choice (other than unforeseen occurrences). People may not notice if you are consistently on time, but I promise they will notice if you are consistently late. How do you want to be seen by your friends, family, and colleagues? Remember, it’s a choice.

Clint Swindall

© 2015 Clint Swindall — Clint is the president & CEO of Verbalocity, Inc., a personal development company with a focus on leadership enhancement. For information about how he can enhance employee engagement in your organization, please visit, or contact him directly

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