We recently learned that one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful women, the amazing Marissa Mayer (pictured above) has a bit of a tardiness problem.
A firsthand source tells Business Insider that Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, is routinely late for meetings with the executives who report to her. Sometimes it’s just a few minutes, but other times she reportedly can be over an hour late! Given how one employee complained that her tardiness comes across as a lack of caring, it’s clear that no matter where you are in your career, being late is just simply unacceptable.
When you are just starting out, consistently being on time — or even early — is a great way to show that you are a go-getter. If you are chronically late to your first job, some companies can view that as you being unorganized and not respectful of your superiors’ time. According to Small Business, arriving late is a passive way for an employee to say that he doesn’t care about his job, or that he doesn’t care what the rules are. Other employees will notice, and may wonder why management doesn’t take action. Mangers also might wonder what they’ve done to make the employee behave like this — all of which can lead to poor morale.
Plus, chronic lateness actually loses money for the company. According to Diana DeLonzor, the author of Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged, consistent tardiness costs U.S. businesses more than $3 billion each year in lost productivity. “The effect on the bottom line of the average business is significant: An employee who is late 10 minutes each day has, by the end of the year, taken the equivalent of a week’s paid vacation,” she writes.
And when you reach a level in your career where you are managing others, being on time is possibly even more important. This is why Mayer’s chronic lateness is such a big deal.
But clearly Mayer is still a very successful person and good at what she does, or she wouldn’t be where she is today. Still, Mayer, like many other CEOs and successful people, may have certain work ethics or just basic personality ticks that contribute to her lateness problem — and maybe some of them will sound familiar to you.
Patrick Lencioni, author of the book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, says many CEOs are “adrenaline addicted” and hope their phone rings when they are about to leave because fighting a fire is more fun than attending a meeting. DeLonzor says this type of late person, known as “the deadline,” is “subconsciously drawn to the adrenaline rush of the sprint to the finish line.”
Or perhaps these lollygaggers get so obsessed with a project that they lose all track of time. After all, Mayer is a woman who once said there are 130 hours of work time in a week if you shower strategically.
Others simply think they are invincible when it comes to time. DeLonzor says many late people tend to be both optimistic and unrealistic, and this affects their perception of time. She tells The New York Times, “They really believe they can go for a run, pick up their clothes at the dry cleaners, buy groceries and drop off the kids at school in an hour. They remember that single shining day 10 years ago when they really did all those things in 60 minutes flat, and forget all the other times that everything took much, much longer.”
Some people who are chronically late also like the attention it brings when they make their entrance, according to Alfie Kohn of Psychology Today.
We have some great advice for how to get up earlier for work which will help you get there on time, but you may want to be aware of why you are late for work, appointments or just life events in general, in order to correct the problem.
Photo courtesy of Business Insider
Do you recognize yourself in any of these late-comers? What are your tips for arriving on time? Tell us in the comments!