Heera Training & Management Consultants

eNewsletter July 2009

Dear Everyone,
Hi! And how are you all? June was an exhausting month, probably one of the busiest months I have had in my career. I really am a little tired with all the travelling and training, from Kuala Trengganu to Penang to Johor Bahru. No complaints though as being busy is always a good sign. I am now looking forward to going on a long deserved holiday with my wife to Russia and the Scandinavian countries. I will be away for almost three weeks.

This month I want to talk to you about stealing. When we talk of stealing, we usually define it as the act of taking tangible things without the consent of the owner. But today, I want to talk to you about stealing in another context i.e. in relation to intangible things and in particular time. How many times have we seen people (I call them ‘time stealers’) coming late for a meeting for instance. With or without realizing it, these people are stealing the time of all those who were on time. The people who come on time are now ‘forced to waste’ it on meaningless activities like idle talk, whilst waiting for the meeting to begin. Another good example is when a VIP is late for the opening of a conference for instance. Let’s say there are five hundred people at the conference and the VIP is twenty minutes late. This amounts to stealing time to the tune of approximately 166 hours from everyone. That is a lot of time! 

Stealing people's time is a crime!!!

What I find most infuriating, from a management perspective is that these time stealers are encouraged because their actions are tolerated by statements like, "Lets wait for the latecomers", or "lets wait until everyone is here". And through this tacit approval, organizations and managers are in a sense giving explicit permission for these time stealers to go on stealing. And because of this, all meetings, conferences, training etc continue to start late so as to allow these time stealers to steal even more time.

Importantly, by being late, these people are not only stealing other’s time but also showing disrespect and contempt for other people. If you are a time stealer, I really, really do hope that you will look at the whole situation from this new perspective and stop. And if you are in a management role, please ensure that you take action against these time stealers before ‘time stealing’ becomes a norm in your department/organization. Remember, stealing people's time is a crime!!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I do hope all of you will have a great month ahead. Take care!