Monday May 20, 2013
As you’re reading this, if you happen to have a ruler close by, take a look at it because today we are going to talk about inches. When you think about it an inch is a really small measurement. Other than when we measure our waistlines, are measuring to remodel the house or watching how fast our children are growing up, we probably never think much about how important an inch can be.
Usually, people tend to talk about the big numbers. Such as how far away from planet Earth the edge of the Universe is – which is over 13 billion light years away! That’s a lot of inches! Difficult to perceive but it’s further than your trip to the local grocery store, isn’t it? Or what seemed like such a long drive to the beach or the mountains every summer vacation as a child. Or a football player running 100 yards for a touchdown. Or a cross country airplane trip from New York to California.
Perhaps you play golf, or know someone who plays golf. Golf is a game of inches. I am always amazed at what the pro-golfers can do when it comes down to a matter of inches to win a tournament. The goal is to get to the putting green on each round of golf played. Tournaments are often won or lost by how well the golfers can putt on a particular day. The golfers get to the putting green, take their time assessing the next move, then hit the ball one way to have it go another way because they look at the slope and condition of the ground, the way the grass is growing in order to best know how the ball may roll. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are on the line all depending on how close the ball can get to and into the cup. It’s a matter of inches – and sometimes, even just a fraction of an inch between the winner and loser.
It’s the same in business. Business is a game of inches. The inches are translated into the details. It’s the extra effort you put into your work each day. It’s the extra time you spend to “get it right”. It’s when you listen to someone who’s had a bad day. It’s simply remembering to say “thank you”. It’s those early mornings and late nights working on something you really believe in. It’s when something you’ve been working on all falls together.
Inch by inch.
But in business, inches don’t always translate into the positive. Sometimes it’s about paying attention to the subtle changes that take place over time that lead to not so positive results. Often you hear business people say things like, “Gee, how did that happen?” It’s about inches. Pay attention. Watch for the subtle signs. Inch by inch.
When Sam Walton was alive he had his own airplane and would fly to visit the Wal-Mart store locations. He always flew directly over the store because he liked to see how full the parking lot was. If the parking lot was not full enough he would want to know why. When he walked into the store, Sam paid attention to the details. Store personnel and management paid attention during Sam’s visit because they knew if it wasn’t right they were going to hear about it. It’s about how the inches add up. How a 12 inch ruler can quickly become a 3 foot yardstick of either failure or success.
In business, those inches add up and can make a difference. Make sure it’s a productive, profitable difference.
Start today. Take a look around. It’s not about being a perfectionist. It’s about how the little things add up to big results and to big success.
Howard Lewinter guides - focuses - advises business owners and CEOs to more success - more profit - less stress. Connect with Howard at www.TalkBusinessWithHoward.com.
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