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Attention to details is critical. Missing one detail may go unnoticed but missing several details can be detrimental and reflect very badly in the eyes of our customers. Let me illustrate with a story.

Laptop in hand, I was working at one of my favourite spacious and bright cafés. When I visited the washroom, I was plunged into a gloomy space.

I noticed that out of five light bulbs which lit the bathroom space, three were burnt, leaving only two shining. Had only one bulb been burnt, my guess is that it would have gone unnoticed. Two? Maybe yes, maybe no. But three burnt bulbs made it evident something was miserably askew. This conveyed a sense of carelessness on behalf of the business. It said “We don’t care much about maintenance”.

We see that the cumulative effect of minor issues can turn into glaring ones.

This applies to neglected details in physical spaces such as:

  • Store entrances
  • Checkout counters
  • Commerce/store public spaces
  • Waiting rooms

It also applies to details in the written and communication aspects of our work, such as:

  • Internal and external written reports and memos
  • Applications (employment/grants)
  • Quotes/estimates, RFPs (Request for Proposals)
  • Emails

And it applies to our work and the specific tasks we’re paid to do, like:

  • Providing financial advice
  • Trades (i.e. masonry work, plumbing, electrical work, general contracting, etc)
  • Defending a case in law
  • Performing art such as music or theatre
  • Tending to flight passengers (flight attendants)
  • Caring for animals (veterinarians and vet assistants)…

…You get the idea.

Almost every element of a business consists of sets of tasks that include details and we should aim to tend to each. I realize this can be challenging. However, actualizing a habit of examining and tending to details will reduce the potentially negative impact of their neglect.

For example, before sending an email, we can make a habit of carefully re-reading and correcting grammar errors, typos, punctuation, etc. I’m often surprised by the number of mistakes I find in my written communication, such as emails, when I review them. And often after being initially confident the text was error-free.

Let’s make a habit of tending to details. It’s a habit most successful people and businesses have mastered.