Values Quotes – Richard Whately on Timeliness

Today’s quote is from Richard Whately, an English economist and theologian, who also served as the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin.

A profound quote from Whately is:

“It is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary.”

The important focus here is not on the need for repair or rebuilding. It’s on the value of timeliness.

As a differentiating value, Timeliness means to be punctual, prompt, precise, or exact.

Here’s a couple of ways to think about this value:

  • Showing up when you say you will is about being punctual.
  • Doing what needs to be done without delay is about being prompt.
  • Avoiding sloppy work and properly looking after all the details is about being precise.
  • And clearing the fog of any misunderstanding to ensure everyone comprehends what needs to be done and by when is about being exact.

But there is one thing that will wipe out all of the benefits of timeliness, and Whately gives us a clue. It’s neglect. The neglect of time.

If you waste an hour of your time on trivial or meaningless activities, you can’t get it back. That time is gone.

But those that respect their time look after their responsibilities in a timely manner. And surprisingly they find they have more time on their hands – because they don’t have to spend extra time repairing and rebuilding.

So, a question for you to consider: Are you fully respecting the gift of time?


Today’s value was selected from the “Harmony-Order” category, based on the e-book Developing Your Differentiating Values.


One Company that Claims to Have Heart

Once registered, a corporation becomes a living breathing entity. Customers buy from it. Suppliers sell to it. And Governments make sure they extract tax from it. It’s interesting that leaders come and leaders go. Yet, the corporation carries on, doing business as usual. When many look at a business, they see something cold and hard….

A New Perspective on the Traditions of Marriage

Challenging a tradition can be ok IF it leads to a new appreciation for what really matters. But getting rid of a tradition just because some feel it needs to change – or just because it’s “only” a tradition – helps no one. Today, many are challenging the traditions that surround marriage. People are questioning:…

Defining The Value Of Excellence: It’s Harder Than You Think.

Next to Integrity and Respect, Excellence is the third most popular core value at Fortune 500 companies. Some label it ‘Quality’. Others refer to it as ‘Performance’. But the theme is almost always the same: a commitment to being the best and/or delivering the best. Most often this value is simply stated as a Commitment…

When Uniformity is Important in Marriage

What comes to mind when you think of “uniformity”? A production factory with hundreds or thousands of the same units rolling off the line, after passing inspection and quality control. School children all wearing the same outfits, with their teacher smiling proudly in-behind. The Stormtroopers from the movie Star Wars, following the commands of Darth…

Clear & Concise Values… Southern Style.

As a leading U.S. producer of electricity to over 4 million customers, the subsidiaries of Southern Company span four states – Georgia Power, Alabama Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power. Other brands that are part of Southern Company include Southern Power, Southern Nuclear, Southern Telecom, and SouthernLINC Wireless. Southern Company is continually ranked among the…

The Two Sides of Acuteness in Marriage

How would you rate yourself when it comes to knowing your spouse? If there were a marriage intelligence test (maybe it would be called a “MI” rating), how high would you score? If you’ve been married for some time, you likely feel you know your spouse fairly well. You need very little data to determine…

Prospective Merger of DIRECTV and DISH? A Comparison of Values.

There have been recent reports that DIRECTV and DISH Network are considering a merger. Again. The two companies tried to merge back in 2002. But the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) put an end to that deal. Why try again? Why now? It’s all because of Comcast’s recent deal to buy Time Warner Cable, for $45…

Yes, It Is Possible To Experience Ecstasy In Marriage

What comes to mind when you hear about ecstasy in marriage? Thanks to popular culture, there are likely two scenarios: The euphoria that is associated with sex. The drug known as Ecstasy. The drug is illegal, and its use is discouraged. Sex is not. In fact, to have a healthy marriage physical intimacy is highly…

Values Quotes – Carol Burnett on Amusement

Welcome to Values Quotes. I’m Robert Ferguson. Today’s quote is from Carol Burnett, the actress, singer, writer, and comedian, best known for her long-running TV series The Carol Burnett Show. A wonderful quote from Burnett is: “I’m really not that funny in real life. But I am the best audience one could find. I love…

I write about differentiating values and their impact on leadership, marketing, and marriage - focused on couples in business together. Read more about Robert.