Under Mr. Bush, punctuality was a virtue. Meetings started early — the former president once locked Secretary of State Colin L. Powell out of the Cabinet Room when Mr. Powell showed up a few minutes late — and ended on time. In the Obama White House, meetings start on time and often finish late.
In last year’s classes, we spent a lot of time talking about how time is rendered in the mind of diverse cultures differently. It’s very interesting to think of how time is seen differently by these two administrations and how that may have an effect on the ways that people in the administration approach problems — perhaps in a more open ended way, without a feelking of having deadlines, but with the feeling that something is continually worked on, improved upon, and existing in states of completion over time.