At times I get the sense that the “big picture people” think the big picture is more important than the little details. I hear phrases like “I think about how it all should look and then I let the other people run around and make sure it comes together”. In one sense it’s true, leaders help people see where they need to go and cast that vision. But, the little details make or break it. I don’t think one is more noble than the other – big picture vs details – but I had to pick, I might choose details. Of course this all depends on your giftedness – one probably is more natural and all of us together makes it work.
Jason Hatley has a great blog and I recently read a couple quotes from something he wrote on this subject. The first quote was from Harvey Mackay who says, “The little things don’t mean a lot. They mean everything!” And Charles Swindoll says, “The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.”
So what details do we need to tend to in our organizations? It might be that the details are in fact done through people who assist us in our roles, but what do we need to double check on? What do we need to make sure happens?
I think one of the reason details are so daunting at times is because there are so many of them. And they seem to multiply as the critical time approaches. But, that’s the essence of details – many little things that add up to make something go well, run smoothly, have an effective impact.
We recently had a girls conference at our church. Of the many things that happened during that event, I heard almost everyone talk about the homemade flowers that were used as center pieces. One little tiny aspect to the event, but it made a lasting impression and was talked about immensely during the day. In fact, when the event was over – all the flowers were all gone. Slowly, one by one, these homemade flowers had disappeared! People took one here and there so they could go learn how to make them or whatever – and we didn’t mind. But it was that one little detail of the day, along with so many others that made an impression – taking the event from good to great.
Leadership, with attention to the details and the people who make the details happen, is dynamite! Decide which details you need to double check on today or before your next big thing.