July 11, 2022
In a 2016 Players Tribune Article, Gerald Henderson of the Charlotte Bobcats told of an experience he had with my favorite NBA player, Kobe Bryant. It was Gerald's first time playing against Kobe, who was a rookie! During the warmups while watching Kobe's every move he noticed something...Kobe was missing everything!
After five minutes or so, Gerald saw Kobe whisper in an usher's ear and within another 5 minutes a maintenance crew was out on the court adjusting the rim. As Kobe walked by, he casually said to Gerald, "I don't miss those shots, pretty sure the rim is a quarter inch to low." "Oh yeah?" Gerald questioned. Even in his 20th season, being injured, and not at his best, Kobe went on to score 30 and threw down an amazing dunk that sent the crowd wild. After the buzzer sounded Gerald couldn’t resist. He asked one of the maintenance guys what was going on with the rim before the game. The man said, "We were alerted that the rim was at an incorrect height, but don't worry we measured it and got it back to 10 feet." Gerald replied, "Really? What was it off by?" The man's answer. "One quarter inch too low."
When studying some of the best leaders in history you may notice a dichotomy. On one hand they may concentrate on high level vision and strategy, but on another hand, you will see them involving themselves in small things that seem not to matter. But let me let you in on a secret, EVERYTHING MATTERS.
Over the years I've heard many people say, they are a big picture person and prefer to just leave the details to someone else but let me encourage you. You can and need to be both. James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says that it's important to keep your daily actions small (the details), while keeping your daily mindset big (the vision).
Sam Walton used to ride the semi-trucks with his drivers, just to see the small ways he could help improve the delivery processes of Walmart. John Wooden, the famous basketball coach, had a whole teaching for his team on how to tie their shoes. One of the biggest donors to our ministry through the years told me they made the decision to give to us because I made the SMALL decision to write them a thank you card. To the mediocre and average, details are a nuisance and a pain, but to the best DETAILS ARE AN OBSESSION.
"The most effective leaders are fanatical about getting the details right."
— Jim Collins
"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen."
— John Wooden
The last thing I'd like to leave you with is this, how you deal with the details is a STATEMENT about the VALUES of your company. When YOU care about the small things, YOUR TEAM AND EMPLOYEES will begin to care about the small things. Richard Branson said, "If you place emphasis on getting the little things right, and address the everyday problems that come up, you can encourage a CULTURE OF ATTENTION TO DETAIL." Debbie Fields, the owner of Mrs. Fields Cookies, was walking through her kitchens when she noticed some irregularities with one of the large trays of cookies coming out of the ovens. She asked the baker overseeing the process, "The color of these cookies is too dark, and they are an 1/8 inch too thin, why have you not thrown them out?" The baker replied sheepishly, "Well it's a $600 tray of cookies, I thought they were good enough." While dumping the cookies into the nearest trash bin, she looked the baker squarely in the eyes and said, "Let me just tell you, GOOD ENOUGH IS NEVER GOOD ENOUGH."
Question for Growth: Where have you allowed a "Good Enough" mentality to enter your life or business?
BE 2.0 - Jim Collins
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God is for You!