Most of my appointment is fully booked most of the time. Each no-show or late cancelation means that someone else isn’t getting a chance to speak with me. Such failures sadden me.

I ask people to send me documents in advance because I can read faster than they can talk, and I can read the document in advance (perhaps in those timeslots freed up by the no-shows and cancelations mentioned above.)

Prior to a , I asked someone to send me a translation of their visually beautiful deck that was unfortunately written in a non-English language. They wrongly thought I meant that they should cancel the meeting. Never dawned on me that they might infer that. Confusion about whether a meeting was canceled or not has happened before. Now I include an explicit “the meeting is not canceled” note.

When possible, when a meeting is canceled, rather than just removing it from the calendar, I change the meeting name to “CANCELED Meeting ..” and wait until everyone has acknowledged the cancelation before actually removing it.

While each of these actions is an extra step, it is a small step compared to learning whatever that language had been.

Written by Russell Brand

Entrepreneur in residence at Founder Institute, he has mentored, performed due diligence on and invested in numerous early stage companies. Hundreds of these early stage companies have described Russell’s insights and advice as the most useful thing in the history of their companies. He has always had an inborn ability to find more valuable uses of new ideas and faster ways to achieve results.

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