Pay Attention to Details

“The magic behind every outstanding performance is always found in the smallest of details.”

If you long to accomplish great and noble tasks, you first must learn to approach every task as though it were great and noble. Even the biggest project depends on the success of the smallest components.

Many people downplay small details, dismissing them as minutia-the “small stuff,” that we’re encouraged to ignore. But, in fact, our whole environment is simply an accumulation of tiny details.

Although we measure our lives in years, we live them in days, hours, minutes and seconds. Every action-every detail of our lives-has bottom-line repercussions,  and it’s dangerous and derogatory to think of any of those details as trivial,  unimportant or inconsequential.

Successful people, in many walks of life, understand the importance of detail:

  • Crime scene investigators know that it’s often the smallest, most obscure detail that results in the arrest and prosecution of criminals.
  • Athletes and coaches are all too aware that one minor misjudgment can
  • swing momentum to their competitor and result in a loss rather than a win.
  • Doctors and nurses understand that the slightest mistake or loss of focus can result in a tragic situation that carries massive liability.
  • Business people carefully oversee the details of their products and services, knowing that one simple slip up can cause a series of events that negatively impacts the bottom line, brand integrity, and public perception.
  • Engineers and architects know that the stability of the most gigantic structure depends on the integrity of its smallest element; a failed bolt or a misplaced pin can have huge consequences.
  • Fireman, first aid responders, and other emergency personnel are trained to focus on details even as a tragedy unfolds, as every second can make the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.
  • Amusement parks know that the safety and physical well-being of their guests-and the financial viability of the company-require consistent and meticulous attention to the minute mechanical details of rides and attractions.
  • Computer programmers spend their careers tightly focused on detail, as one incorrect digit in a code of millions can create an operational nightmare for the end user.
  • Automotive detailers make their living by restoring a car to showroom condition. This requires the removal of every last piece of lint, dirt, and grime, and the tool of their trade is the simple q-tip.

Ultimately, the key to quality in every aspect of our lives is doing little things correctly, all the time, every time, so that each action produces a quality result. When every detail is lovingly attended to, and each step in the process is given complete and careful attention, the end result inevitably will be of the highest quality.

Passion for your work, a pervasive commitment to quality, and relentless attention to details are essential markers of excellence. Quality work and an appreciation for the importance of details benefit not just the clients a business serves; these attitudes and habits also bring joy and peace of mind to the person who delivers the work. To know how to do something exceptionally well is to enjoy it.

The magic behind every outstanding performance, exceptional meal, fine piece of furniture, jewelry, or clothing is always found in the smallest of details. Those who enjoy the greatest success understand that it takes hundreds of small, seemingly insignificant details repeated perfectly day in and day out to create an unforgettably excellent experience.

The people who deliver superior results are not simply doing more of the same things everyone else does; they are doing better things. Very small differences, consistently practiced, produce superior results.

In business, it is the attention to the little things-the details-that create and build long-term customer loyalty.

From the training of employees and the quality of products and services, to the type of stationary used in correspondence and the music customers hear when placed on hold, a successful company knows that every detail counts. The thread count of a sheet, the font style for a product’s label, the lighting of a room, the welcoming smile, the floral display in the lobby, the polish and shine of a doorknob, are all small details that leave big impressions. In the successful organization, no detail is too small to escape close attention.

If you believe you are too busy to focus on details, or that attending to the ‘minutia’ of your business would make you less effective in delivering your services, I encourage you to re-examine your thinking.

Further, I can tell you this with confidence: No matter what business or personal activities you are engaged in, you will be continuously challenged by larger problems that could have been prevented if you had paid closer attention to the details at the beginning.

The details of your work affect your company’s ability to compete and prosper. A careless or cavalier approach to details is the kiss of death to progress. Those committed to excellence know that the real threat to success isn’t the Armageddon of some huge and horrible slip-up; it’s the much more insidious danger of being nibbled to death by the smallest of mistakes or oversights. No lapse of judgment, taste, or quality can be shrugged off by a true professional. Successful people know that everything counts.

It’s not that the devil is in the details, but that every detail contains a seed that can potentially make the difference between success and failure. Therefore, if the benefits of hard work are to be maximized attention to detail is a must.

Excellence in any endeavor is a production in which every little detail tells a story about one’s intention, commitment, and character. Pay attention to the small stuff. Consistent attention to details produces excellence-that’s why every detail counts!



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