Are you actually late?

There’s a stark contrast in how people view the 2–7 minute window when a meeting is scheduled to start.

Grant G. Leonard
2 min readJan 11, 2022


Source: Andy Beales (Unsplash)

There’s a camp that insists on being precisely on time and will apologize for being late if they arrive 2 minutes past the scheduled start time.

“I’m SO sorry I am late, my last call ran over!”

This camp usually goes into explanation mode to justify why they did not arrive on the dot. It’s as if they are admitting that they did something wrong.

The other camp habitually arrives 3–7 minutes late, but usually does not apologize nor provide an explanation for the tardiness. They get right down to business nevertheless.

Here’s an argument for and against each side:

For on-the-dot timeliness; against casual tardiness

Respects others’ time; compromises others’ flow

Shows time management; suggests a lack of boundaries

Conveys discipline; hints at chaos

For casual tardiness; against on-the-dot timeliness

Sees things through; risks overextension

Gives attention when attention is needed; signals poor prioritization

Doesn’t sweat the minutia; distracts from the big picture

In a world where productivity is counted by the second…

Is the on-the-dot timeliness camp ultra-accountable and diligent, or is it too stuck in the weeds to focus on what really matters?

Is the casual tardiness camp high-performing and solely focused on getting things done, or is it chaotically disrupting the overall flow?