I greatly enjoy reading about people who have been successful in their respective fields. I also have a continuing interest in successful companies and learning some keys to their success. This is helpful to me for both my personal success, and as a resource to draw on in assisting my clients. In my research of successful individuals and companies, a common thread has emerged. That common thread is attention to detail.
It appears that every successful individual, team, or organization has been relentless on giving attention and perfecting the details relevant to their areas. Consider the following examples.
- Many consider Vince Lombardi to be one of the greatest football coaches of all time. A guard who played on some of his greatest Packer teams said, “He pays such meticulous attention to detail. He ignores nothing. Technique, technique, technique, over and over and over, until we feel like we’re going crazy. But we win (Kramar, Schapp, p.51).”
- John Wooden, the only person to be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and coach had this to say about details, “HIGH PERFORMANCE AND PRODUCTION are achieved only through the identification and perfection of small but relevant details-little things done well(Wooden, Jamison, p.135).”
- The Navy Seals are one of the highest performing organizations in the world. It is no coincidence that details matter. “SEAL teams conduct uniform inspections. There is no direct correlation between the amount of starch in summer whites and the ability to shoot a moving target at a thousand yards. However, the care given to a uniform and the crispness with which a salute is rendered are direct indicators of professionalism, attention to detail, and adherence to a warfare culture (Cannon, Cannon, p.178).”
A successful business must pay attention to details in order to be superior and unique, and set themselves apart to outclass the competition. The great management thinker and consultant, Peter Drucker, said a business must focus on excellence because, “to have real knowledge of the kind for which the market offers economic reward requires concentration on doing a few things superbly well (Drucker, p.206).”
*Kramer, Jerry, Schapp, Dick, (1968), Instant Replay
*Wooden, John, Jamison, Steve, (2005), Wooden On Leadership
*Cannon, Jeff, Cannon, LT. CMDR. Jon, (2003), Leadership Lessons of the Navy Seals
*Drucker, Peter F., (2004), The Daily Drucker