I’ve always believed in arriving early to meetings. Not too early, as that be problematic on its own, but being ready 5-10 minutes early is often a good thing.
In Kevin Kelly’s book “Excellent Advice for Living“, he shares two thoughts around this idea:
Promptness is a sign of respect.
There is no such thing as being “on time.” Either you are late or you are early. Your choice.
I agree with Kevin on those, but saw a different side of it in the movie “Air” (about Nike’s signing of Michael Jordan) that came out earlier this year. In the movie, Phil Knight, the CEO of Nike, decided to be intentionally late for a meeting to showcase how important he was. Here’s the clip:
I don’t particularly like that kind of weird posturing, and I don’t know if that aspect of the story was true in real life, but it seemed to be beneficial here.
That said, I tend to be more impressed with someone that has their act together, remembers their meeting times, and has the foresight to plan for traffic and other delays. Things happen and the best plans can sometimes go out the window, but those that make an effort to be on time for their meetings are the ones that seem to show the most respect to their peers.