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NEWS | June 3, 2015

Time management; one of the keys to success

By Command Master Chief Joseph Gardner Joint Base Charleston command master chief

Timeliness is usually a simple thing to manage. However, it seems these days it is getting harder and harder to attend all of the meetings and accomplish all of the other tasks being required of us.  According to Merriam-Webster, timeliness is "the quality or habit of arriving or being ready on time."  To me, this means showing up for meetings on time and making deadlines for submitting paperwork (such as EPR, Evaluations, awards, etc...).  Personally, I like the old adage, "On time is early; late is on time."  So far, it has worked for me for the last 27 years.  Don't get me wrong, I have been late to a few meetings but there haven't been that many throughout my career.  As I sit here typing, I can only think of one time in the late 80's when I woke up late and thought I was going to miss morning muster. I called the ship but still actually made it in time for muster.  As a senior enlisted leader, I believe timeliness and responsibility go together. I feel it is my responsibility to make deadlines to ensure that junior folks are given every tool and option they need to succeed.  Likewise, those up the chain of command deserve to receive whatever documents or reports on time, so they have the information available to make quality decisions.

I had a fellow command master chief who had a unique way of handling disciplinary issues. He would talk to those who had committed an offense. He would always start off by asking what they had to provide to the bigger picture and what the offenses committed meant to their family name.  The anonymous poem below puts this in perspective:

You got it from your father
It was all he had to give
So it's yours to use and cherish
For as long as you may live

If you lost the watch he gave you
It can always be replaced;
But a black mark on your name
Can never be erased

It was clean the day you took it
And a worthy name to bear
When he got it from his father
There was no dishonor there

So make sure you guard it wisely
After all is said and done
You'll be glad the name is spotless
When you give it to your son or daughter

The way I see it, if you are always late or cannot make deadlines, how does that make you and your squadron or department look?  I understand there are times when deadlines cannot be met or there are legitimate reasons for being late but the responsible thing to do in these cases is to let your leadership and teammates know and gain agreement in advance.  Maybe I am just getting old or missed something in the grand scheme of life, but I like to think that when my time comes to retire, I have at least upheld my family name and my end of the contract to be at my appointed place of duty.