"The devil is in the details." "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step." "Rome wasn’t built in a day."
Valuable lessons for business leaders: little things matter. The discipline, effort and attention to detail on the little things help build the foundation for the BIG successes. Making little commitments engenders ownership, pride, perseverance. All are important ingredients in a culture of success. You can get your team to perform better by following 3 simple rules:
Develop a Culture of Commitment
Honoring obligations, no matter how small, results in a culture of ownership, trust and integrity. All 3 are desirable traits in any well managed company. Relationships and relationship management becomes so much easier when everyone believes what the other says. Team alignment is easier when members believe that commitments will be met. Output is faster and better, and collaboration is easier. But it all starts with the little things like showing up on time, making the phone call you had promised to make or delivering the report when it is due.
Don’t Ignore Little Misses
So 9 o’clock is 9 o’clock. It isn’t 9:02. A completed form is 100% completed. Etc. don’t give people a pass on the little things because they are heavily involved in much bigger things. You are enabling an attitude of mediocrity that will ultimately bite you in the ass when you least expect it. Be clear about expectations and make sure that all parties follow through.
Building a culture of commitment, which is central to a culture of continuous improvement, does not mean you should be a monster. You shouldn’t blow a gasket if your staff shows up late. But you shouldn’t let it go either. Have a word with the ringleader and others when you can. Ideally do it in private, be respectful, but be clear. Your team will benefit from your insistence on respecting others and they are quietly wishing you would enforce the rules equally anyway.