“He who can take no great interest in what is small will
take false interest in what is great.” -John Ruskin
One way to make sure that the progression of time works in your favor is to thrive on the too often unseen links between small details and big improvements. For example….
Novelists and film directors like to say, “God is in the details.”. That’s the essence of this principle. The more you start paying attention to the details of a project, your health, environment, trends, changes, and so on, the sooner you’ll be able to do something profound with it.
I think the understanding of underlying numbers has a massive effect in the right direction because it takes us away from our subconscious dreamlike (it will be alright) state to conscious reality-based awareness. That’s both the power and beauty of diving into the details. Pretense verse reality.
What’s The Ratio?
“Think globally, act locally.” Let the macro view of your project or goal inspire you to work on its micro aspects. Because micro equals doable. And when enough micro is handled, the big picture snaps into focus almost automatically.
And here is the ratio. 50% micros (detail driven), 48% systems (processes) and 2% big picture (macro or strategic aim). In other words, pay just enough attention to macro so that you understand what details need either improving or tweaking and what systems you need to install to improve those details. The biggest differences emerge from making lots of little differences.
Thrive On The Numbers – Start The Ripple Effect Through Key Drivers
There are two ways to create a ripple effect: you can either shake an entire lake or stand on the shore and toss a pebble in.
Think of small details as if they were pebbles you can use to start a ripple effect.
Many CEOs focus on the “important big-picture stuff” like strategy and revenue. They’d be a lot wiser to focus on the 98 percent of their time on key frontline activities, noticing and improving key details that lead to acceleration.
Dealing with key details, 98% of the time leads to one massive ripple effect. As CEO of your own business and life, why not give it a try?
Thrive On The Numbers – Improve Instantly
A number is something you can instantly improve – one extra sales call, one extra push up, one extra session training you team. These are things you can do fairly easily.
Many people may not see the value in the details, but you can. Focus on what you can instantly fix. You’ll get instant gratification. You’ll get the perspective that there will be something else you can fix tomorrow and the next day.
The bigger goals and challenges can really start taking care of themselves. This is the formula: perspective plus commitment, advanced by realistic, rewarding, and doable micro-steps.
Thrive On The Numbers – Prevention Leaves Cure For Dead
Just because something is inconsequential, even seemingly irrelevant, doesn’t mean that it will always be that way. Think of Lehman Brothers for example who failed to measure the true underlying risks in the so-called ‘assets’ they were carrying well over a decade.
For some time business people had the luxury of waiting for real evidence of a trend emerging. But now, things are changing fast, and lots of savvy people are paying greater attention to slight deviations and as a consequence nip catastrophic outcomes in the bud.
In your personal life as well as your profession, details are GOLD. Treat them that way.
Thrive On The Numbers – Details Lead To Massive Upside
Not too long ago, a large blue-chip Middle East client in the construction industry space called me in to have a brief discussion around why revenue had stalled despite heavy investment in both marketing and sales personnel.
Scratching under the surface, the initial indicators revealed that only one out of the seven professionals within the revenue-generating team were indeed adding real bottom-line value to the organisation.
Digging deeper, we discovered that the top performers followed a mechanical approach to their sales, paying close attention to qualifying and building extensive rapport with new prospects.
The solution appeared straight forward as reflected in these key numbers. Key parameters were established as a consequence throughout the sales teams, and once followed lead to exponential growth moving forward on a quarter to quarter basis.
Once you learn to gather, analyse and respond to patterns within patterns, you’ll start looking at details with a gleam in your eye! They become your playground and as a result, the possibilities missed by most become a strategic advantage.
Thrive On The Numbers – Reduce Errors Hence Lower Cost
Two points here: First, it is extremely expensive these days to make mistakes. Second, customers are much less tolerant of any mistakes.
That’s why reliability and trust are key to customers today. This means paying strict attention to details. Make sure that what you’re offering works 100 percent of the time, not 99 percent of the time.
Many entrepreneurs enjoy starting the next project before the current one has been perfected. The market just won’t tolerate casual attention to the detailed numbers. And as you know, the last 10 percent of a project often takes the same amount of time and effort as the first 90 percent.
Perfection is an investment that is rarely simple or automatic, but, like GOD, it is found in the details.
Thrive On The Numbers – Integrity Made Easy
Off course, the details will always keep you and your team honest. It becomes difficult to hide around the reality of any situation especially since the details once examined almost never lie.
Since integrity comes first, whoever fails to pay attention to integrity-related parameters has little chance of making it to any further steps. Most integrity steps start with details – early warning signals that we simply ignore until they have become a problem. And as we have stated, it is far more difficult to solve a crisis as opposed to recognising early warning signs.
In my work, I have also found that those business executives who choose to operate through complete transparency and clarity in relation to the numbers, tend to have higher levels of integrity and as a result, lead exceptional organisations.