Preach a Reverence for Details
Walt Disney knew it. Steve Jobs lived it. Mary Barra believes it. It is the little things that count. Details really matter to those who strive for excellence and, sometimes, achieve it. Those best at what they do find that it is the nuances and smallest details that transform effort into excellence.
Details often seen as unimportant or irrelevant to average performers become a point of hyper-focus and discipline for those who achieve mastery. This obsession with details is so commonly shared by the world’s top performers in every field and sport, it is not surprising the best leaders are also fixated on details in ways that others aren’t. Details differentiate between average and outstanding, between good and great. The question is: Which details matter?
Details that make a difference usually influence the experience customers and clients have with the product or service, which is why detail is at the heart of great design. Process details within a team remind everyone what matters and what the culture is all about. An insistence on details creates pride within an organization for no other reason than everyone knows no stone has been left unturned on the way to creating excellence. The way you do anything, after all, is the way you do everything.
The best leaders preach a reverence for the details day in and day out. They insist specific qualities and ingredients exist in every performance. They point out the minutiae essential for sustained success to anyone smart enough to listen. Not everyone will come to value the details as much as leaders do. Many people have been taught not to sweat the small stuff; however, the best leaders demand a focus on details even when others scratch their heads and wonder why. “Some people feel the rain,” said musician Roger Miller. “Others just get wet.”