One of the best things I came across in Pete Carroll’s book is how he described the value of “be early” and the impact it has had on his team. At first, glance having a value of “be early” may seem silly, it did to me. But, as Pete described it I realized the immense power of having that as a core value for an organization, or for an individual. Consider the following:
- To be early, you have to plan ahead and think through your day. This forces you to be proactive and to truly plan out your day rather than just reacting to what happens and rolling with it. A commitment to always be early is a commitment to owning your time, rather than it owning you.
- When you are early, you show respect. By being early, you are valuing another person’s time over your own. You are showing them physically that you are glad to be there and to wait for them if needed. Being early is a position of humility, which is exactly what I love about it. I’m not always immediately prone to humility, but the value of being early helps me toward that goal.
- When you are early, you are better prepared. When I’m early to a meeting, it allows me to mentally prepare for that meeting, allowing me to be more engaged and on the ball during the meeting.
- Being early reduces stress. When I’m 20 minutes early to a meeting and traffic is a little worse than usual, I don’t mind. When I can’t find a parking space, or the suite number, no big deal.
As my son recently reminded me, “early is on time, and on time is late.” That’s what I try to follow. I’m not perfect about it, but that is my goal.