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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Fast Five: On Punctuality

"You never get a second chance to make a first impression." 

The Navy was an "on time" organization. If a meeting scheduled at 0730, it started at 0730. Punctuality provided consistency although some discomfort, even when a meeting began on time. Morning Report (a.k.a. Morning Distort) began, where interns and residents summarized or presented new admissions in detail. The Chief of Medicine (or his designee), specialty staff, and the Chief Resident held court. Morning report epitomized applying and handling pressure, albeit academic pressure. 

It wasn't always pretty or truthful. I knew one colleague who always looked cool and prepared. His wife told us a harsher truth...pressure and time spawned an ulcer. Time and pressure turn black dust into diamonds. 

Punctuality is part of preparation, heralding success. James Kerr shares this anecdote in Legacy. "J. P. Morgan, the banker and philanthropist, was shown an envelope containing a ‘guaranteed formula for success’. He agreed that if he liked the advice written inside he would pay $25,000 for its contents. Morgan opened the envelope, nodded, and paid. The advice? 

1. Every morning write a list of the things that need to be done that day. 
2. Do them.

Dean Smith championed punctuality. To this day, his point guard Phil Ford, sets his watch ten minutes fast, to Dean Smith Time



Gandhi was called the most punctual man in India. He believed that we are "trustees of time". Legend has it that his one dollar watch stopped upon his death. 

Nick Saban demands punctuality. Punctuality reflects commitment and "shows you care". Punctuality represents another standard of excellence. Bill Belichick will send a player home who is late for practice. 

"Time and tide wait for no man." Control the controllables. Be on time. 

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