Billionaire Richard Branson wrote an essay on LinkedIn giving the advice that punctuality is key to success for workers.
“If you want to be more productive, then start at the start: get there on time. Whether it is a meeting, a flight, an appointment or a date, ensure you are there when you say you will be there,” wrote Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, in the essay. “This may feel like an old-fashioned tip to give, especially in a series titled Productivity Hacks, but it has served me well for five decades in business.”
He added, “Being on time is respectful to your hosts and also means you can effectively manage your day. Once you get behind, it is hard to catch back up again. Being punctual doesn’t mean rushing around the whole time.” Branson continued, “It simply means organising your time effectively.”
When he is running late? Branson wrote that he’ll actually start running to make a meeting or interview with media.
Being on time doesn’t mean working to a strict, rigid schedule. It means being an effective delegator, organiser and communicator. If it isn’t going to be possible for me to make an appointment, make that clear and apologise. If possible, find one of the team who will find it useful to attend on your behalf, and then ask them to feed back to you. If it really isn’t possible to be on time, call ahead.
Another piece of advice from Branson? Listen more than talk.