Some of the most powerful men in history, were ones who were always punctual. Many years ago I was a personal trainer, and was at the time, training an uber wealthy and uber powerful real estate magnate, in his castle in Point Piper, Sydney. His usual calm and playful demeanour changed one day in a moment, when his son was still getting changed when a friend had come to pick him up.
Steve was enraged and passionately expressed to his son, “You do not EVER leave anyone waiting for you, do you understand?!”. Well, I was already a very punctual young man, but hearing that from him cemented it permantely. You must never leave another person waiting for you.
George Washington was another man who placed extreme importance on this. He would not wait for a person who kept him waiting, and was always waiting outside the doors of meetings in the minutes before he was due to arrive. Even at dinner time (at the odd hour of 4pm, and if any of his dining invitees were late, they would find the president either half way through or having completed his meal.
Today more than ever, punctuality is of critical importance, in a time where everyone has an excuse for being late, even though we have all the reminders, calanders and alarms we could possibly need at our fingertips.
So why is it so important?
1. Trust: Saying you’ll meet someone at a set time is a promise, a contract if you will. Break that promise and you break that trust. Be a man of your word, and people will remember you for it.
2. Discipline: Be so punctual that it becomes clear to you and everyone you have dealings with, that you are a disciplined and organised man, who is never flustered and rushed, but structured and organised.
3. Respect: Time is money. If you take people’s time from them, you’re taking their most valuable currency. Show them that you respect their time by being on time. There is nothing worse than rushing to meet someone on time, but they casually stroll in 15 minutes late.
4. Health: Being late all the time is bad for your health. You can miss events, you’re always stressed by rushing, you’re always apoligising and embarrassed for being late, and often you’re forced to lie to make up excuses.
5. Like a Rock: Be dependable like one. Be a man so punctual that people can rely on you at all times. Being undependable with time makes people think ‘what else is he undependable with’?
6. Control: You prove to yourself that you are in total control of your life and your destiny, no matter what the world throws at you. You become a man who doesn’t need to make excuses for anything; all you do is find solutions.
7. Priorities: Being late makes the other person feel of lesser value. Don’t leave people awkwardly waiting for you alone.