Chapter 1. Every Detail Counts

"The magic behind every outstanding performance is always found in the smallest of details."

If you long to accomplish great and noble tasks, you first must learn to approach every task as though it were great and noble. Even the grandest project depends on the success of the smallest components.

Many people downplay small details, dismissing them as minutia—the "small stuff" that we're encouraged to ignore. But in fact, our entire environment is simply an accumulation of tiny details. Although we measure our lives in years, we live them in days, hours, minutes, and seconds. Every action—every detail of our lives—has bottom-line repercussions, and it's dangerous and derogatory to think of any of those details as trivial, unimportant, or inconsequential.

Successful people, in many walks of life, understand the importance of detail:

  • Crime scene investigators know that it's often the smallest, most obscure detail that results in the arrest and prosecution of criminals.

  • Athletes and coaches are all too aware that one minor misjudgment can swing momentum to their competitor and result in a loss rather than a win.

  • Doctors and nurses understand that the slightest mistake or loss of focus can result in a tragic situation that carries massive liability.

  • Business people carefully oversee the details of their products and services, knowing that one simple slip-up can cause a series of events that negatively impacts the bottom line, brand integrity, and public perception. ...

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