Do Sweat the Small Stuff!

C.J. Smith, Director, Security Services, Promotion Watch, Inc.
Published Wednesday, Aug 9, 2017

Do Sweat the Small Stuff!

We’ve heard the following phrase many times in our lives… “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” In the early days of my career working at various jobs and exploring what life had to offer, I would have been an advocate of this mindset. I did my best to focus on the big picture and not get caught up in the details. Wow – was I wrong!

As it turns out, attention to detail can often be a make-or-break proposition. For anyone who works in an industry where you provide service to your customers, paying attention to the details can often be a critical point of differentiation. Successful sales associates have known this for years. For example, remembering a client’s birthday or the names of his/her children and then asking about these topics at appropriate times during a sales call can have a profoundly positive affect in a business relationship. From a personal perspective, I work in the promotion security field of the promotion marketing industry where knowledge of the details for the execution of a promotion is extremely important. Details such as the verification of an exact winning code, specific eligibility criteria, limit of entries a person can submit, number of prizes a person can win and so much more, drive the overall execution of a promotion and determine its success or failure. The details are the key.

Admittedly, pouring over the details of a promotion’s execution plan isn’t nearly as exciting as engaging the public with some real-time marketing on social media. Nonetheless, it’s the details that make it all work (and keep it legal!)  As famous fashion designer Giorgio Armani once said, “To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.” This same sentiment has been echoed in the words by other great people such as former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell, famed UCLA men’s basketball coach John Wooden and renowned author and clergyman Charles R. Swindoll, just to name a few. Each greatly valued the importance of not overlooking the smallest of details in order to achieve success in work and in life.

Need further proof that details matter? Here’s a good case study for you. Anyone who has seen Marcus Lemonis on CNBC’s “The Profit’ knows that his business mantra for success is the three (3) P’s – people, process and product. While there’s no “D” for “details” in Lemonis’ mantra, it’s crystal clear that he has a keen eye for details when it comes to turning a flailing business around to profitability. Assessing the details encompasses his consideration of personnel, overhauling of a business’s process and how the business’s products/services are offered and presented to customers. In nearly every episode, his deep dive into the details is met with a successful business turnaround and a return to black ink for the bottom line.

Of course, strategic thinking and long-range vision are also important in business, government and many other industries – there’s no argument from me on that. That being said, equally important is the tactical thinking and detailed planning that serve to provide the turn-by-turn directions on the road map to execute your vision. So remember, attention to the details enables you and your team to set yourself apart from the competition, execute flawlessly and set the gold standard in your industry.

Sweat the small stuff? You bet!