Chapter 47. Fundamentals Count

"No one is above the law, and no one is above the necessity of the fundamentals."

Success, in all its forms, consists of simple fundamentals. Professionals respect them, while amateurs loathe them. Professionals master them, while amateurs neglect them. Professionals practice them, while amateurs undermine them. The common denominator for success in any field is a focus on the most basic components.

Whether you refer to them as the ABCs, 123s, rudimentary skills, nuts and bolts, foundational principles, universal truths, elementary steps, or simply as square one, the fundamentals are the initial building blocks on which all success stands. Success is neither magical nor mysterious; it is the natural consequence of consistently applying fundamentals.

A foundation anchors your house to the earth, holding it up, and just as importantly, holding it down. A well-constructed, rock-solid foundation will last several lifetimes, while a poor one will forever remain unstable. The foundation must be strong enough to shoulder the entire weight of the house, as everything built into the house becomes either vulnerable or strengthened by the quality of the foundation.

When well constructed, foundations escape notice; they are quietly doing their job below grade. But when they begin to fail, their weakness is quickly exposed along with the fingerprints of mediocrity and incompetence. A poor foundation is a serious problem that leads to numerous quagmires and considerable ...

Get Everything Counts: 52 Remarkable Ways to Inspire Excellence and Drive Results now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.