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Time is of the Essence

by Randall Craig on July 8, 2008

Filed in: Blog, Communication, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Management, Time management

Tagged as: , , ,

Have you ever booked a meeting with others, only to have them show up late? Or started a meeting, only to have some of the participants spend half the time checking their BlackBerry? Or watched as a few attendees leave early because of other commitments?

Putting aside the rudeness of this behavior, it points to a single ugly truth: You – or the subject of your meeting – are not a priority. Yet, is there something you could do to change this? Consider these ideas:

  • Only invite those who are absolutely required to make a decision. You can always send a “For Your Information” memo to others afterward.
  • Schedule the meeting to be significantly shorter than usual
  • Send an agenda beforehand
  • Try a standing-up meeting; instead of booking a meeting room, meet just outside someone’s office, or standing at the water cooler.
  • Set the ground rules, and then enforce them: start and end on time.

As managers we would never accept tardiness or lack of attention from potential job candidates, so how can it be acceptable from those already employed? It isn’t – yet the behavior must have been learned somewhere.

This week’s action item: Resolve never to show up late, always give 100% of your attention, and to stay to the end of each meeting you attend. Not only will you get more out of the meeting, but you will set a great example – one that others will reciprocate.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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