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Living on “Lombardi Time” Sets a Good Example

Famed football coach Vince Lombardi led the Green Bay Packers to five NFL Championships in seven years. Lombardi, a man known for his ability to motivate and deliver success, insisted that his players follow the rule of “Lombardi Time.” This translated into showing up 15 minutes before a meeting. Anything less and you were considered late. Today, the clock at the entrance to Lambeau Field, home turf of the Green Bay Packers, is still set to Lombardi Time.

Time = Money

A blog from leadership speaker Ryan Estis found that following Lombardi Time can save not only time but money. He shared research conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management that found employee tardiness can cost U.S. businesses as much as $3 billion each year. An employee who is late 10 minutes each day has missed the equivalent of a week’s worth of paid vacation, according to the research.

Setting an Example

The benefits of showing up on time are many. Timeliness demonstrates respect and discipline, and it is a habit that can also create dividends through one’s personal and work life. But for those who are constantly battling a stacked calendar of back-to-back meetings and video calls, Lombardi Time can feel like a dream as they long for a few extra minutes to disconnect from one subject or meeting before starting another.

To begin building this time back in the day, Estis recommends taking back the calendar, adding in white space to provide time for recollection and creative thinking throughout the day. Blocking out sections of the day on the calendar provides more time to be able to show up prepared and punctual, whether that is for a job interview, a business meeting or a date with family and friends at the end of the day.

Estis also suggested experimenting with the length of meetings, testing out if 30 or 45 minutes could accomplish the same as a standard hour-long meeting. Practicing Lombardi Time is also an opportunity to set a good example to others. Showing up prepared and ready to contribute can soon set a new standard where others look to emulate the impact of Lombardi Time.


Getting yourself on Lombardi Time will not happen overnight. It will take commitment, collaboration and discipline hour after hour and day after day. Start small, and soon you will see your efforts snowballing in an avalanche of respect and positive first impressions.