I am Sorry, for coming late

“Avoid starting meetings with ‘I am sorry for coming late.” There are many opportunities one gets when they keep time.   I love early morning appointments.

“Avoid starting meetings with I am sorry for coming late.” There are many opportunities one gets when they keep time.  

I love early morning appointments. It is an opportunity to understand the company and the behavior of staff 

I arrive earlier at about 6:20 am. I am usually outside when the first person arrives to open the office. This gives me an opportunity to access the reception and observe who comes in at what time and what they do immediately they arrive at the office. Some staff comes with energy and a sense of urgency, with clarity of priorities for the day. Others come looking too tired, and apparent lack of activities for the day. This kind of information empowers me to understand the client from what I call first principles.  

No one can improve what they do not understand or know well. I use the ACT approach to gain an understanding of the client. Assess, Change and Transform.  

By the time my host arrives (the boss), I have already chatted with some staff like the security guard (if any) and the receptionist and administration officer who usually opens the office. All these are secret keepers and very difficult to interact with during official working hours that I have observed at many companies start after 8:30 am or 9:00 am. Clients want to talk with consultants who understand their business. 

Read: In your life, who are you benchmarking against?

Unfortunately, the boss is usually too busy focusing on the top line (revenue) and the bottom line (net profit after tax), they are blind to small but critical details like interacting with the receptionist or office cleaner to know what works in their company or not. These people know too much, but their insights are always not tapped into.  

I use timekeeping as a competitive tool. I have seen even new staff failing to keep time. They usually arrive at work at about 8 am or 9 thereabout. It does not matter the kind of job you do, showing up early does not require any talent or skill apart from personal discipline.  

We all need people who set the right example 

And don’t tell me about the industrial 4.0, and remote working or flexible hours. If your contract is a full-time staff, you are expected to show up early and think. If you want an exception, then don’t sign up for a full-time job. Employers want results and discipline of consistently delivering good results.  

Timekeeping and showing up early makes you a star performer. On one side your results are there to show for it, on the other hand, you demonstrate behavior that every CEO would love to use an example –timekeeping. What is better than being a role model! 

The challenge for any leader is creating a culture of high performance. However, people who come late to work, cannot be used as role models despite delivering outstanding results.  

A genius too must work hard in order to succeed!  

Stop going to meetings and starting with that nightmare statement, “I am sorry for coming late.” How can you shine when you start with sorry! 

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2019. All rights reserved. 

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