Punctuality : Excerpted from Lal Bahadur Shastri - Lessons in Leadership

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Punctuality : Excerpted from Lal Bahadur Shastri - Lessons in Leadership

  1. 1. Punctuality (Circa 1962) Shastriji was a punctual person and taught us also to be on time too. Once he was going out of station on a special plane and checked with me the previous evening if I would be interested in coming along. I happily agreed since the following day was a school holiday. He said he would leave the house at 8 o'clock in the morning as the take-off was scheduled at 8.30. Since I could not get ready on time, I tried getting to the airport in another car. By the time I reached, it was 8.35 am. The doors of the plane were closed and the engines were running. Although I was just 5 minutes late, Shastriji did not wait for me and took off and I was left behind. I felt very embarrassed and wept profusely at theairportitself. In the evening when Shastriji came back, my mother
  2. 2. Lalita Shastri was annoyed with him and said that he could have waited for just 5 minutes instead of leaving me behind. All he said was, “If I didn't do that, how would Anil ever learn to bepunctual.” This was a big lesson for me and to date, I do my best to be punctual at all times. Wisdom Window This anecdote is very vital for understanding the importance of punctuality in management. Through one master stroke, Lal Bahadur Shastri not only taught his son the importance of punctuality but also demonstrated to everybody around him – his colleagues, driver, airport staff, etc and left them with a useful lesson to pass on to their colleagues, friends and family. 33 Lal Bahadur Shastri - Lessons in Leadership

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