Don’t ever keep your managers waiting for you in your own meeting

A COO shared with me recently how the owner of the business where he works almost always shows up very late for her own staff meetings – usually on the order of 1-2 hours.

I asked him if she ever calculated the lost productivity from having 4 managers sitting around for up to 2 hours waiting for her. She hadn’t, so let’s give it a shot:

For the sake of argument, let’s say each of member of her senior leadership team earns $100,000 a year, or about $50/hour. Let’s also assume that she is – on average – 1 hour late for each meeting, which means that for 4 managers, she’s paying them $200/hour to basically do nothing.

Now, good managers also make things happen in the company – they supervise their employees and lead projects; both are impacted by taking managers out of operations. That affects their ability to drive performance during the work day, which I’ll estimate as a 10% reduction in productivity. If she has 40 employees, each accounting for $37,500 of profit a year, or $18.75 an hour, each hour is costing her $75 of lost profit. If she wastes 3 hours a week, that’s a total of $11,500 of lost profit in a year, just because she sets meeting times that are an hour too early for her.

I know many small business owners do this, and even big-company CEOs like Yahoo!’s Marissa Mayer was rumored to make executives wait for hours outside her office. Here’s the deal: YOU ARE HURTING YOUR OWN PRODUCTIVITY. Why in the world would you ever do that? If you can’t show up on time for your own meeting, then don’t set the meeting. Think about the cost! Keep your company working, not waiting for you. Show up on time to every meeting you set.

Go get 'em!