Everyday Excellence.

Excellence is really an everyday thing, just like being a champion is an everyday thing. I used to say “Don’t sweat the small stuff. Sweat the small stuff.” Now, in the interests of those who don’t appreciate verbal nuance, I say “Don’t sweat the small stuff. Do the small stuff”.

Sweat small stuffOf course, what the phrases actually mean depends on what we mean by “small stuff”. They are of two categories. The first is stuff that doesn’t matter, is not about your company’s core business competencies, or which might be urgent but not important. The second is small stuff that, if left unattended, could bring about the downfall of your business in a manner akin to the proverbial poem about “For the want of a nail”. More importantly, the second category of “small stuff” are actually what we call “tell-tale signs” which are actually pointing to the fact that all is not as well as it might seem. There might be small systemic issues festering but left unnoticed and well-nigh forgotten.

Small stuff which doesn’t matter include how many “likes” your company Facebook Page has, unsolicited feedback about your employees and the fact that three of your people don’t really like to participate in your ritual of standing in circles, holding hands and singing spiritual-sounding songs. Small stuff which does matChildren playing doctorter are things like whether people refill the coffee machine when it runs out without being told and without waiting for the coffee lady. It’s about reporting “near misses” from a safety perspective. It’s about always arriving in time at the office, ready for the day’s work. It’s about pro-actively reporting small progresses and small irritations when working from home. It’s about being as thorough as possible with each and every project report and yet not doing “busywork”.

Mindsets of excellence can’t help but be seen and felt. Bad habits of slothfulness will manifest even when we try to cover them up. Excellence is an everyday thing, and is usually seen in the small things we do or don’t do. How’s your small stuff at your company?

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