There are many important important details at every position whether you are the leader or the person on the production line. When you are the leader, however, the details make all the difference in the world. Learning to focus on the details is very important. When you look closely at the details, you can prevent future failures or problems from occurring.
What are the Details?
So, what do you do every day? If you are anything like me, you probably wake up, go to work, go home, and go to bed.
Okay, so you probably do a lot more than that. A typical day for me starts something like this. I wake up every morning at 5:45 AM when my alarm goes off. Sometimes I hit the snooze button a couple of times before I actually get up, but I am usually out of bed by 6:00 AM. From there, I roll out of bed and jump in the shower. Once I am done showering, I get dressed, fix my hair, and put my contacts in.
I then eat my breakfast which consists of one serving (approx. 3/4 C.) of my favorite breakfast cereal, Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds, and about one cup of milk. As I eat breakfast I go through the emails on my phone and watch the news. I usually finish my breakfast at about 6:30 AM. From there I brush my teeth. Once I am done brushing my teeth, I go outside, get the newspaper, and get in my truck to head to work. The day continues from there…
Pay Attention to the Details
I don’t think you really care much about what I do each day, but what I want to illustrate the difference in the level of detail. The first explanation was very brief and gave you very little information about what I do each day. The second explanation, on the other hand, let you know exactly what I do each morning down to how much cereal I eat and what type.
In leadership, you need to pay close attention to the details. There are far too many leaders that look over the details thinking someone else has already caught the mistakes or the next guy will catch whatever they miss. When it comes to numbers, a single dot is the difference between $1,000.00 and $100.00. That is a huge difference. So how can you make sure you don’t miss the details?
1. Don’t let yourself be distracted.
As a leader, there are so many things that can distract you every day. With each distraction, you can lose track of the important details if you are not careful. Some of the distractions are the phone ringing, the emails popping up, people coming into your office, etc. When you are a leader, each of these things happens and it can be very easy to lose your focus.
When you work on your most important tasks, however, you should do all you can to clear away all the possible distractions. To keep from getting distracted, you could go sit in the conference room by yourself to work on your project, or stay a little later or come in a little early so no one is around to distract you. You may find another thing that works for you and that is great also.
2. Review most important things when you are fresh.
Right when you get back to work after a big lunch is probably not a good time to look at your important detail sensitive projects. If you know you aren’t going to be able to work uninterrupted, you should work on your most important things when you are most attentive. When you first start working, your mind tends to be more fresh and alert. Use that time to look at the very detailed things.
3. Tune out/pass off the unnecessary.
As a leader, there are so many things that come up every day demanding your attention. There are also many things that come up that could easily be passed to someone else because it doesn’t need your approval or review. In order to maintain your focus on the details, you should quickly pass off the things that could be done by others so you can focus your time, energy, and efforts on the important details.
4. Have someone else proofread your work.
As a leader, it can be easy to get in the mindset that if you have someone else check your work, it is a sign of weakness. This is not necessarily true. It is always good to have more than one person look over important documents or projects. What the first person might catch, the second person might overlook, but at the same time they might catch something the first person missed.
No one is perfect and mistakes do happen, but if you do the things mentioned above you will be able to pay closer attention to the details so you don’t make as many mistakes. The details are very important and when missed, can result in catastrophes or significant problems.
What are your secrets for keeping track of the details? Why are the details important to you? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!