check the small things

Colin Powel’s rule #8:  Check the small things.

At a certain point, I assumed that someone else would do this.  Checking small things feels like something that eventually I wouldn’t have to deal with.  I have learned just the opposite, over and over again.

During the first building project I was ever a part of, I assumed that the professional building people would take care of the the things that mattered most to me.  I figured that surely I wasn’t the smartest person in the room on some of this stuff.  They do this for a living, I am just the end user.  What do I know?

The reality is that I am the most knowledgeable person on the thoughts that pop into my head.  If nobody is bringing something up, but I am thinking about it, I need to speak up.  I notice that this mostly happens around small things, and if I assume that someone else is going to take care of it, I am wrong.

Don’t assume that what is running through your head is registering to anyone else.  Don’t move onto the next thing without voicing your opinion, if it hasn’t been voiced then probably no one else is thinking of it.  Don’t sit passively wishing that someone would bring up your concern.  It might be a small thing, but you might be just the person to bring it up.

Many times, it is the small things that make the difference between something good and something amazing.  It can also be the difference between success and failure.

Checking the small things must be done by someone.  If you are thinking of them, you need to take care of them.


Next rule:  #9 Share Credit

photo by: Brooklyn Museum