We spend a lot of time on the "Big Things." Vision, strategy and business execution immediately come to mind.
These topics are fun to talk about, but the big things can't always be the main focus. Even more importantly, the big things need to be rounded out by a lot of flawless execution on the little things.
Easily said, but not always so easily done.
Answer this - What has really made you successful?
Unless you founded the next big thing or created the internet like Al Gore (belly laugh), I would be willing to bet much of your success came down to the small things you do.
What about it you ask?
Perhaps you work hard or you are a positive person to be around or you are funny. All of which can be good things that can drive results.
That is because there are certain little behaviors that help drive big results. These are behaviors that make you a better boss, parent, friend and human being.
In fact there are many; but today I want to focus on a few that I have found to be particularly achievable and valuable. Here are 5 little behaviors that just about anyone can do that lead to better outcomes almost every time.
- Follow Through: No matter what it is that you say you are going to do, do it. I can't tell you how many times someone says I'll call you in 5 minutes or I'll have that to you tomorrow and they don't. Be the one that does and you will be light years ahead of the masses.
- Only Ask if You Intend to Listen: Employee, colleague or customer, it doesn't matter. We all ask too many questions with no intention to listen to the answers. Somewhere along the line we became confused that empathy comes from asking a lot of questions. But really it comes from asking genuine questions and then listening to the answers.
- Living in the Moment: We all have a million things going on in our business and personal lives. When you are in a call or a meeting do everything that you can to be present. People can always tell when your mind is someplace else. This alienates you from whomever you are supposed to be with. Trust me when I say, I struggle with this mightily, but time and time again I have seen better results when I focus on being where I am and making the best of the situation.
- Be Thankful: Where have our manners gone? It amazes me how often you see an act of kindness followed up by an act of entitlement. If someone holds a door for you, say thanks. If someone goes the extra mile to deliver a report, say thanks. If you want someone to go above and beyond or even just do what they should, say please. The most successful people are gracious. Please remember that!
- Avoid this Pitfall: In both professional and personal settings, DO NOT get into conversations that are negative about others. It is a reflection of your character and astute people will wonder if you do the same about them when they aren't around. Criticism and feedback have their place, but judgment and insult really doesn't serve anyone well.
For some this may serve as a mere reminder of some good practices to be a better leader and moreover a better human. For others, maybe there is an "aha" moment here. Nonetheless, I long to be around others that do these little things
So I ask you, do you do the little things that drive big results?