Punctuality: Time and Cardinal Business Virtues
PUNCTUALITY Punctuality is the habit of being on time. The trouble of being punctual is that nobody’s there to appreciate it. Observing punctuality is not only a duty, but is also a part of good manners; it is favourable to fortune, reputation, influence and usefulness; a little attention and energy will form the habit, so as to make it easy and delightful. Punctuality is the soul of business. Punctuality is one of the cardinal business virtues, always insist on it in your subordinates.
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Lack of punctuality is a theft of someone else’s time whether as an employee who is late for work or as friends, where we have agreed to meet at a set of time. If I had made an appointment with anybody, I owe him punctuality, I have no right to throw away his time, if I do my own. Unfaithfulness in the keeping of an appointment is an act of clear dishonesty. You may as well borrow a person’s money as his time. Lack of punctuality is a lack of respect for others.
The best-laid plans, the most important affairs, the fortunes of individuals, the weal of nations, honour, life itself, are daily sacrificed because somebody is ‘behind time’. There are others who put off reformation year by year, till death seizes them; and they perish unrepentant, because forever ‘behind time’. Five minutes in a crisis is worth years. It is but a little period, yet it has often saved a fortune or redeemed a people.
If there is one virtue that should be cultivated more than another by him who would succeed in life, it is punctuality; if there is one error that should be avoided, it is being ‘behind time’. How to be punctual or on time, one may ask? It is really quite simple. Plan to be early, and start out early. Plan to arrive fifteen minutes before the scheduled time, you will be on time. Rightly said by Nelson,” I owe all my success in life to having been always a quarter of an hour before time. ”