Running on Lombardi Time

Tuesday, October 13 2020

Do you run your life on Lombardi time?

Vince Lombardi, the legendary NFL Hall of Famer, was head coach of the Green Bay Packers in the 1960’s. His Packers team won the first two Super Bowls. Today, the two teams fortunate enough to make it to the Super Bowl each season, compete for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.  He made a significant impact on the game. This is even more notable as he did not become a head coach until he was 46 years old and, tragically, died of cancer at age 57. It was an impressive 11 years.

Lombardi was as much a teacher as a coach. One of the many life lessons he instilled in his players was that if you had a 5 o’clock meeting, you arrived fully prepared at 4:45. Fifteen minutes early. That fifteen minutes is known as “Lombardi time.” His teams were legendary for always being ready to play and getting off to a quick start against their opponents. It was key to their success.

Lombardi time can serve a valuable function in the life of a successful businessperson as well. Time is often scarce and it has become one of the most valuable resources in our daily lives. Finding a work/life balance is a lofty, often unattained goal.

If you have been granted 45 minutes of a busy person’s time, one simple but effective way to demonstrate you respect their time is to arrive for the meeting fifteen minutes early, ready to engage. Even if the person with whom you’re meeting is unable to join until the scheduled time, it contributes to the impression that you’ve mastered the three P’s: Prompt, Prepared, Professional.

You benefit as well. You can get accustomed to your surroundings, compose your thoughts, and review your game plan. Notice a significant picture, company award, or the minor sports teams this business supports. You will make a good first impression.

Lambeau Field, the home of the Green Bay Packers, is located at 1265 Lombardi Avenue in Green Bay, Wisconsin, about a 2-hour drive north of Milwaukee.  It’s an interesting place. The population is 105,000, it has an NFL team and the tallest building in Green Bay is the stadium, with a seating capacity of 81,444.

This is the legacy of Vince Lombardi.

But perhaps the most enduring and visible sign of his legacy is that as you walk up to the main entrance to the stadium, there is a big clock above the gate that it is set fifteen minutes ahead.  It runs on Lombardi time.  Do you?