If you don’t, you don’t learn anything. Conversations happen without you, insights occur that you never get access to, and experiences get shared that you may not hear. If you try to catch up, you end up playing the telephone game and get an abbreviated or inaccurate version. And it’s not their fault for being brief or wrong; it’s your fault for not showing up.
If you don’t show up, you don’t get trust and respect and loyalty. Your team wonders where you are, where your priorities lie, and why they show up. They don’t need a babysitter but they do need a leader. They want direction, vision, and inspiration but they’re not getting it. And you then wonder why they leave and why you can’t just find good people.
If you don’t show up, you don’t get connected. Business deals and new opportunities will pass you by, you won’t encounter the person who has what you need, and people won’t remember who you are. No one will ask you how that project turned out or who they want to introduce to you. You won’t meet a potential mentor, potential customer, potential employee, potential investor…or potential date.
If you don’t show up, you continue wondering how everyone else makes things happen, seems to achieve great things, and has an impact. You continue to call them “lucky” or “privileged” or “really smart”. You know you’re just as good as them but in reality, they are indeed luckier, more privileged and really smart. Not because they were born like that but because they showed up.
Years ago, I crunched some numbers in my role as a college professor. I correlated several years of student attendance data to grades and discovered that only one student out of over 600 earned a C grade or lower when attending more than 80% of the class sessions.
So yes, if you don’t show up, you just won’t be better than average.