On time is late

Bonjour, Cyril here. In this video, I want to share a simple principle about meeting etiquette.

At the moment I’m in Mumbai, in India. So exciting to be working with leaders around the world, from Australia to the US to Europe and now in India. It’s amazing to see that the principles of efficiency and effectiveness resonate with so many people around the world.

I am working with the leadership team of a global company and we have just had a discussion on meetings. These leaders are bombarded with meetings. They don’t even have back to back meetings, they have two or sometimes three meetings at once. Unbelievable! They are constantly rushing from one meeting to another which means they never really have time to do anything in between.

So hardly surprising then they are often late to meetings.

We have just focused on the following simple principle: on time is late. I think everyone agrees that late is late (whether one, nine, or fifteen minutes). But on time is late?

I suggest that if a meeting starts at 10:00, if everyone arrives at 10:00, it’s unlikely to start at 10:00. Therefore, for a meeting starting at 10:00 you should already be there at least five minutes before 10.00.

Obvious? May be. Done? Rarely.

So how to make it work you may ask?

It’s simple. Fight the one-hour default.

Ban all one-hour meetings and agree from now on to only have 45- or 50-minute meetings. The same applies for 30-minute meetings. Instead plan to have a meeting that lasts for 20 to 25 minutes.

As a result, you will have time to breathe and relax between meetings, to do a few quick things AND to be on time for your next one.

So, the ‘on time is late’ is not only a simple but really important principle. To make this happen realistically the answer is to ban the one hour default.

I hope this will be useful for you and your team.

Have a wonderful day


{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}