To Sweat or Not to Sweat the Details
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Are you the kind of person that says “don’t sweat the small stuff”? Or, do you find yourself more in the “the devil is in the details” camp? To sweat or not to sweat the details – that is the question. My answer? Well, I believe in both. That’s not a cop-out. It’s just all about the situation at hand.
In relationships, I strive to not sweat the small stuff. I’m not always good at it – especially when it comes to those with whom I live. (Really, how hard is it to get the socks in the laundry basket and the dirty dishes in the dishwasher?) Oddly, one item in this category I’m good at is managing my road rage, even though I live and work in the traffic-intense Chicagoland area. I like to let a car into line, beckon someone to merge in front of me and give that friendly “thank you” wave when a fellow driver does the same for me. The objective is to keep the traffic moving and get the dirty socks clean, so it bugs me when not everyone doesn’t do their part.
Yet as Chief Operating Officer at Assurance, I have no qualms about sweating the details. I care about the details – and I care a lot – when they support the big picture, could derail a project or may create an efficient system. After all, it’s my job to create an environment where we get the details exactly right – for our employees and our clients. There is nothing that can drive someone more crazy than having a small repetitive item in their daily work be time-consuming, ineffective or just plain wrong for no good reason.
As leaders, we know our focus must remain far and wide – keeping an eye down the road and maintaining broad peripheral vision. But, my advice is to never skimp on making sure the details get their proper due. Whether you’re personally on top of them or supporting someone else who is, don’t ever let “detail oriented” be considered a low level skill in your organization.
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