Raising the level of your leadership




What Else Is In The Details?


You have heard it many times: “The devil is in the details.” Is it true? Oh, yes.

Before you try to change the oil on your car, one detail you need to know is which drain plug is for the oil pan and which one is for the transmission pan. I once pulled the wrong plug and drained my transmission fluid instead of the oil. (Because of people like me, transmissions are now sealed and don’t have a plug.)

In Home Alone, a missed detail was that nobody bothered to count heads. It made for a very funny movie, but….

Back in my aerospace days, while touring the plant of one of our subcontractors with a U.S. Army Colonel, the plant general missed a detail: his zipper was down all day. The Colonel couldn’t remember a thing he saw except for the zipper.

In publishing 16 Stones, I discovered how hard it is to find all the missplled words.

Sometimes a missed detail leads to tragedy. In 1988, a missing safety valve (one out of hundreds) on the Rio Bravo oil rig resulted in an explosion that killed 167 men.

Whether you are the leader or not, remember: “the difference between good and great is attention to detail.”

And sometimes it is the difference between success and failure. That is why successful leaders know:

  • “Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly diligent.” (General Colin Powell)
  • “I pick up the details that drive the organization insane. But sweating the details is more important than anything else.” (Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo)

Leadership Stone #14 in 16 Stones: Raising the Level of Your Leadership One Stone at a Time is: Do Sweat The Small Stuff

Order a print copy at 16stonesbook.com. E-book available for Kindle and Nook on Amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.

© Copyright 2013 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company

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