Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

The Power of Punctual

July 14, 2019

by Robert Stevenson

Personally, I am not a fan of people who are always late. Sometimes, things happen that we have no control over such as car accidents, traffic jams, and unexpected family emergencies … to name a few. I am not addressing those.

What I am addressing is what being punctual can do for your success.

Have you ever given it any thought about what “being punctual” says about you? It shows you are in control, disciplined, able to keep track of things, you are trustworthy, reliable, and respectful of another person’s time. Being late demonstrates none of those. On the contrary, being late shows you are unreliable, disorganized, disinterested and inconsiderate. When you look at it from that perspective, those are extremely harsh and unprofessional terms to describe anyone.

Do you want to hire someone who is unreliable? Not me. How about disorganized? A disorganized person will make mistakes and mistakes cost money. Let’s take a closer look at disinterested. One of the definitions for disinterested is having or feeling no interest in something, unconcerned, uncaring and unenthusiastic. Oh, boy. That sounds like someone you NEVER want to have on your team. Then that leaves us with inconsiderate... defined as thoughtlessly causing hurt or inconvenience to others, unthinking, selfish, impolite and rude. When you sit back for a moment and give this paragraph a little time to sink in, it makes you rethink just how detrimental being late can be to your career.

Associates, bosses and customers have NO fondness for lateness. I heard one person express it this way: “If you are chronically late, you are chronically rude.” If you are looking to be promoted to a leadership position it is difficult to prove yourself reliable when people are having to wait on you to show up. Punctuality is a product of discipline, proper planning and respect for others. In simple terms, preparedness and punctuality are two of the most important qualities of a leader.

When you are late, you are saying, “My time is more valuable than yours.” That is not a great way to start anything. The great writer Charles Dickens once said, “I could have never done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order and discipline.” I feel that by being punctual you are paying a courteous compliment to those you are about to see or serve; a respectful gesture of how you value their time. Oh, how I like that statement.

Showing up at the exact time a meeting starts might be considered being punctual, but I feel it is not a wise move if you want to advance your career. Networking is important to your success, so what better way to give yourself the opportunity to network with your associates than arriving 15 minutes before a meeting starts. Put down your phone and strike up a conversation.

Chronic lateness sets a tone about accountability, and it's not the tone you want in any organization. If you want a culture in which people are accountable to customers, associates and even to themselves … then make punctuality a priority; start all meetings on time regardless of who is missing. The word will get out and people will start showing up on time. Being on time may seem a bit trivial to some people, but it's an excellent place to start making accountability part of your corporate culture. Shakespeare stated: “Better three hours too soon, than a minute late.” I hope this article will give you a whole new perspective on just how important being punctual is to your success. THERE TRULY IS POWER IN BEING PUNCTUAL. I’ll leave you with this wise old saying about punctuality:

Better late than never – but never late is better!

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

FREE Robert Stevenson newsletter

Why sign up for Robert’s weekly articles:

  • It is a great way to kick-off your week

  • It will motivate, inspire, educate, and challenge you

  • It will help to make you a better employee, leader, and person

  • He shares the insights he has learned from his clients and research

  • You will receive free a collection of his favorite articles

© 2022 Seeking Excellence A Robert Stevenson Corporation. All Rights Reserved