The One Thing We Should Stop Stealing in 2017


With the new year upon us, there is one discipline that you should adopt and stick with above all else if you truly want to be successful. It is the foundation to successful athletic teams as well as a disciplined focus in the military. While I am sure you can find an exception here or there, I will make the case that in my 34-plus years in American business and acutely observing this discipline, people who focus on this discipline are predominantly more successful in what they do than those people who tend to ignore this discipline. Do you have an under-performing branch, department, sales team or company? I am a firm believer that this discipline sets the tone for everything else you set out to do and achieve.

It may very well be the greatest foundational discipline of all because….

  • It demonstrates personal accountability

  • It reveals your integrity

  • It builds your self-confidence

  • It highlights your self-discipline

  • It ensures you are at your best

The discipline/habit I am talking about is punctuality. I would describe punctuality as:

  1. Being where you're supposed to be as promised

  2. At the agreed upon time

  3. Without exception

  4. Without excuse

In their article A Man Is Punctual: The Importance of Being on Time, authors Brett & Kate McKay, share the positive and negative impact on the discipline of punctuality. In this edited excerpt, I will highlight why this is the one habit you should adopt --and stick to without fail--if you want to be successful.

You see, we all get 525,600 minutes a year. No one gets more than you. No one gets less. That is why I will start with a little “tough love” on the effects of being late and move to the positives around the discipline of punctuality:

Being late is a form of stealing. That’s a tough truth, but it’s a truth nonetheless. When you make others wait for you, you rob minutes from them that they’ll never get back. Like the old saying, “Time is Money,” perhaps this is time they could have turned into money, or simply used for the things important to them. In coming to meet you at the agreed upon hour, they may have made sacrifices – woken up early, cut short their workout, told their kid they couldn’t read a story together – and your lateness negates those sacrifices. If you wouldn’t think of taking ten dollars from another man’s wallet, you shouldn’t think of stealing ten minutes from him either. Being punctual shows you value time yourself, and thus wouldn’t think of depriving others of this precious, but limited resource.