Recently a couple of people approached me sharing complaints they had with an organization that I was deeply involved in for many years. One could argue they were small things. I must share, fulfilling their requests was quite simple. After contacting the organization to ask for these small things, nothing happened.
It occurred to me while listening to both, that paying attention to detail matters. In the transformation of my business and life, I find the journey has not been as much about ideas but rather putting in the time and work to explore the details underneath them. To put in the time to learn what the details are. Determining which details are meaningful vs. those that are not. Then following up on the meaningful details, one by one – as small as they might be – to either change behavior or initiate action. To either strengthen an organization or improve our personal life.
For too many years I embedded a flawed story into my life that “this is the way things are”. For in our youth, ideas and possibilities drive our days. Never stopping to consider what it will take to get there. Nor having the wisdom to know that only in paying attention and acting on the details can we find a way to strengthen the impact of what we believe possibility can bring.
We often hear the words or phrases such as “grinding”, “countless hours of work”, or “months or years of effort”. Sacrifice or discipline needed”. “Routines or habits are important”. All of these types of phrases never refer to ideas. Their domain is clearly one of paying attention to detail.
There is a payoff when paying attention to detail for both our personal and professional lives. One might be quick to argue that “getting in the weeds” should not be our work. For it’s too much of a time waster. My response would be that true knowledge can only come when you understand nuance, context and perspective. They only appear when you pay attention to detail. And only then can you find paths to creating both impact and strength.
Just think about it. Architects, engineers, scientists, accountants, plant managers, website builders, data analytics teams and so on all pay attention to detail. The collective efforts of these “detail providers” is what empowers organizations. Networkers, community builders, advocates, evangelists, and so on is what also can empower organizations. They too pay attention to the detail within their specialties making them stronger. Personally, whether its diet, finances, cooking, gardening, and so on also require us to dive into details.
Generating ideas and possibilities is at the core of being creative. The impact of paying attention to detail is where we give birth to change, creation, and possibility. This is why ideas are easily shared and die quick deaths. Details demand our time and effort. For paying attention to detail is the only way we can some day enjoy the benefits of our intentions, ideas, and dreams.
Choose wisely as you continue your life’s journey.