I personally hate being late. I like to arrive early to most things, get settled, get a good seat etc. I don’t understand people who seem quite comfortable walking into meetings that have already started, disturbing people as they find their way to their seat and take off coats, open laptops etc. I personally feel that people who are routinely late are either not very organized or they just don’t care about other people. I mean routinely late, not just late because of an accident on the highway, the sort of people whom you expect to be late every time you meet. Disorganized sociopaths would sum it up. However, I have been told that mine is an extreme view.
Let’s look at being late to a board meeting. At a board meeting you cannot do anything unless you have a quorum, typically half of the board members plus one. Prudent boards do some reminding and calculating and find out whether they are likely to have a quorum by determining which board members will be absent. Board members who are late, however, create drama if there is no quorum until they arrive. The board does not know how late they are going be, or if they are even coming. Everyone waits around, or calls and texts are sent to the tardy board member.
Good boards don’t let problems continue, so what is the solution? Do you ask a board member to leave the board for being late to meetings in the same way you ask them to leave the board for not attending meetings? There has to be consequences or there will be no change in behaviour. If your group does not have a policy about being late for meetings then it is an ideal time to create one. The best time for a policy is before you need it. `