Time, time, time, see what's become of me
While I looked around for my possibilities

- Paul Simon
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Gracious reader,

It was orientation for my first job in a large organization.  The HR rep stood up at the front of the room and told us -- in no uncertain terms -- that there was never any excuse for being late to work. 

"The trains" weren't ever a valid excuse.  We should leave earlier.

I never saw her again.

Yet decades later, I still remember that her explicit instructions had such a big impact on me that, when I had overslept just a bit, I would feel compelled to drive to work* (and pay to park, which was not an easy reach) rather than trust the train. 

This came to mind recently, after hearing about someone in my extended circle who had been fired for persistent lateness.

So be on notice.  Particularly if you've gone to school -- or worked -- somewhere that has a less-than-stringent relationship with punctuality.

*lol this was in Chicago, would not have worked in NYC
Time Out
Under Pressure
Time Management

When you lead people, it's okay to require them to be on time.  And it's your responsibility to let them know the relationship between punctuality and performance.  Also, perception.

A few years ago, I started to see a pattern.  Emerging managers would tell me about people on their teams who were Underperformers

Not a Culture Fit

Or even, Not Competent.

I started to tell people, you don't have a problem with your team member's level of skill:  you have a How to Have a Job problem.

And I realized that there were workplace basics that managers didn't think they had to talk with team members about. 

Managers would tell me, "They should know."  To:
  • Be on Time. 
  • Do What You Say You're Going to Do. 
  • Avoid Sending Typo-Ridden Emails.
  • And so forth*...
You have to be willing to talk to people about the things you think they should know. 

It's an utter waste of human energy, time, and creativity to bring someone onto your team, only to allow them to fail due to naive How to Have a Job errors.

It doesn't matter why they don't know this stuff.  They don't.

So, yes, you owe it to your team members to explain how time works in your organization. 

Just like our HR rep did for me, back in the day.
*And So Forth...

So, How to Have a Job grew out of my conversations with clients, family members, friends, and beyond.

Initially, I made a list, and shared it with people.  I asked for feedback. 

People either loved it or hated it.  Because it got so much love and hate from people I respect, I decided to test out the list's ideas with this newsletter.

Yet I've never published the list. 

So, here it is, as a google doc, which I've set up to accept comments

What do you think?

I'd love your thoughts, either via email or as via comments on the doc.
Do you lead a team?
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