Coach your Millennial Leader on the Value of Timeliness

Coach your Millennial Leader on the Value of Timeliness

Timeliness is a reflection of one’s character and shows respect for ourselves and others.” ~ Danita Bye

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Which Millennial stereotypes have been frustrating you?

I posted this question to business owners and sales leaders in a survey I conducted as part of my research for my new book, Millennials Matter. After studying their responses, I realized that some of the frustrations they mentioned could be linked to the different values people place on things like timeliness. For some, arriving early for a meeting means you’re on time. Others feel that when you arrive on time you’re late!

When we visited a village in the interior of Tanzania, they announce that the meeting will start when “everyone shows up.” Therefore, we had a meeting scheduled for after church, which I envisioned was about 1 PM – after lunch. However, I was wrong. It started “when everyone showed up” – which was around four in the afternoon. Of course, this was after I had heat stroke from standing around in the brutal African sun for three extra hours, which I hadn’t prepared for


So, timeliness can be a cultural based concept. Regardless, there are some rules and expectations that are part of the western culture—especially our western business culture—that we cannot ignore in our workplace.

According to a YouGov poll, Millennials tend to show up late more often than their older colleagues do.  A staggering 22 percent of Millennials said they arrive late for work at least once a week compared to just 15 percent of people aged 55 and older.

How does your Millennial sales leader see time? How can your coach and mentor them so they understand the importance of timeliness in building trust with both internal and external clients?

Our RESPECT acronym – react, encourage, sensitivity, politeness, extraordinary kindness, considerate, and timeliness is a tool to help you mentor your Millennial salesperson and model important values that boosts respect and collaboration.

Work with these action steps as you continue in your coaching and mentoring of your Millennial sales leader.

Discuss the Why

What might seem natural to you might come as a surprise to some of your younger leaders. Invest the time to cast vision for the importance of punctuality to both internal and external clients.  For example, talk about

  • External clients make “trust” decisions, i.e. whether or not they are going to work with our company, based on timeliness and punctuality. So, to show our gratefulness for their business and our respect for their needs, timeliness is an important part of your company brand.
  • Meetings start on time and end on time, when everyone is present. When we show respect to internal team members it helps us all stay more focused on serving the client.

Avoid time-line surprises

When your next gen leader promises to get back to someone about something by a certain time, they need to keep that commitment or proactively communicate that there is going to be a delay. Overall, business leaders hate time-line surprises.

Illustrate Consequences

Explain to your less than punctual Millennial leader that a lack of timeliness could easily be interpreted as disrespect. You are giving them lots of control and flexibility over how they accomplish their results, but there are some minimum expectations. Give examples such as:

  • Because you were late in handing in your sales figures, your manager got into trouble for submitting an incomplete sales report.

Tanzanian village time doesn’t work in most of our western business culture!

What are some additional best practices you’ve developed to help tackle this issue in your company culture?
In the next post, I’ll provide you with a summary of the RESPECT series.  It will be a helpful reference guide to use as you share your wisdom and leadership with your Millennial sales leader to bring out the best in him or her.

Leadership lesson: Timeliness and punctuality is important to building trust in your company brand.

Leadership question: How are you modeling and rewarding timeliness?

Complete this 2 minute survey and I’ll send you an autographed copy of my new book, Millennials Matter: Proven Strategies for Building your Next-Gen Leader. Thank you! Millennial Research Survey

© Copyright 2017 Danita Bye

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