Be Late with Authority

Whether intentional or accidental, display your authority by being late to every appointment.

My time is incredibly valuable to me, and especially to everyone else. When I show up late to a meeting, I allow it to get underway without me, building up momentum so I can walk in when it’s already going full bore. This allows me to avoid all of the greetings and conversation that bonds people together and thoroughly wastes time. That, and the meeting still has to end at a certain time, so really I’m compressing our productivity and better spending the time of my employees.

Thus, be 8-10 minutes late to every meeting, every time. It’s a matter of efficiency, really.

Arriving late establishes my superiority.

It exhibits my authority, and reminds people who runs the show. Fashionably late? Let’s go ahead and rewrite that as Authoritatively Late. (Please use it, but you must give me credit for that phrase!) If I am the first person on a conference call, I will have to wait minutes for others to join, wasting my time and the company’s money by paying my salary to listen to hold music! This is obviously outright unacceptable. Hopefully the dozen employees I keep waiting until 8 minutes into the call have realized this by now.

When I’m late, my employees bond in the tension.

They begin to wonder if the meeting has been cancelled. They stare at their watch, look at each other, and shrug their shoulders. They will begin to analyze what bits and pieces of conversation they have collectively heard in the hallways. Remember that this enhanced communication only happens when I’m not there. This is yet another way I teach my employees that they must be alert and sharp, constantly aware of what is going on around them. If I just spell out everything to them in person, how does that help them? This act of arriving late makes it even more necessary for employees to keep sharp, for fear of being left out of the communication loop.

Arriving late is sometimes intentional and sometimes accidental, but it is always authoritative.

W. Albert Jameson, IV

On the other hand….
Show respect for other peoples’ time by arriving a few minutes early to appointments and consistently end on time. Otherwise, you demean and devalue your team, which poisons your authority.