Have you ever wondered what separates good and great? What makes one world-class sprinter a thousand of a second faster than another? What makes a Tiger Woods achieve beyond the level of his competition? Yes some of it might be natural ability but at their level talent and ability is a given with everyone. What gives one person the edge over the other?
This photo was taken of Tiger Woods at the 2011 PGA Championship. At 6am he was the ONLY golfer at the range. Details!
Last week I talked about integrity as what you do when no one is looking. Now I’m not talking about Tiger’s personal life but what these top performers do when no one is looking. After hitting a hundred bucket of golf balls, with everyone gone at the range, do you think Tiger says “I’m tired and hungry, that’s enough”? Do you think the champion sprinter stops weight lifting as soon as their coach leaves for the day? I don’t think so. The true champions are not driven by other people. They are driven by a personal desire to be the excell. They are driven by integrity to themselves. They are driven even when no one else is looking. So what is benefit of their hard work. Obviously top athletes see huge financial rewards in their efforts but do you think this was their motivator when they started out. When Denver Broncos quarterback, Payton Manning was a kid, do you think he was thinking of signing bonuses when he stayed after practice to throw a few more balls? Do you think he was thinking of endorsements when he gave up going to the zoo to workout on a Saturday? I don’t think so. I think he did it because he wanted to be his best. I think he did it because he liked the feeling of personal success.
Think about a time you excelled in life. Think about that personal feeling of pride, not from what other said or maybe even if no one else noticed. I’m talking about the feeling of personal pride. It’s a great feeling. Think about how you got there. Why you excelled. I bet it was about the details. Even though no one was watching, you didn’t cut any corners. You focused on the details and made sure everything was perfect. It didn’t matter that others wouldn’t see the results of every detail, you did it for you. You made sure that everything was as good as you could make it. You probably can think back and still feel that pride. Feels good!
I think this is the difference between those who love their jobs and those that have a job. I see many people who simple have a job. They don’t like working but need to pay the bills so they have a job. They spend over a third of their waking hours doing something because they must. No pride and no happiness. On the other hand look at he people who have a passion for their jobs and their accomplishments. They are having fun that third of their waking life. I’m not just talking about top managers or people with big titles and paychecks, plenty of them don’t like their jobs. It can be anyone. I see people at Ebsco, new to the job, starting at tasks with basic skills that love their job. They do it excellently and you can see the pride on their faces. The focus on doing what they are trained as best as they can. They focus on the tiny details no one may notice but they do. They do their jobs as well as they possibly can. They love their work. They get to spend that third of their waking hours HAPPY. Do they work harder than others?, Usually, they are taking care of the details others pass over.
I have recently been involved in a major project. It’s one of those that everything involved touches four or five other things. Many times I run into small details that no one would notice if I left them as is. I would save a great deal of time leaving them, but I just can’t do it. i spend the time to do it right. It sometimes aggravates me as I do it but when completed the feeling is great. Standing back looking at the finished product I almost feel like I’m looking at priceless art work. Yes, I know. No one else sees it that way and they will never know the extra time and effort I spent to make those details just right. But I do. I see the sweat put into making it the best I can make it and I’m proud of what I accomplished.
It’s great that we have these people at Ebsco. They love their jobs and they have pride in what they do. Not because someone will notice but because they notice. You might not notice the individual details of their extra work but you see it in the finished product. You may not see all of the extra hours spent training by Payton Manning but you see the results every Sunday (including two weeks ago against my Cowboys). We have several Payton Manning’s at Ebsco.
So next time you are at work and tempted to blow off that small detail and just move on, think about how that makes you feel about yourself. Not if anyone will notice but how it will make you feel. Take the time and do it right. Go ahead and be your best. You might start to feel good about that third of you waking time you spend at your job and maybe, just maybe learn to actually love your job.
Now if you’ll excuse me I need to spell check this Blog one more time. Like I said
“IT’S IN THE DETAILS”