Just like mediocrity comes in all sizes, greatness has no size. (and it’s not because I’m 5’4”)
The driving force behind achieving greatness at work is not size, it’s attention to detail. Where the rubber meets the road, greatness is action driven by the knowledge of the granular aspects of work. It’s knowing that every one of your actions is worthy of your full attention because it will impact something else – something that is beyond yourself. That includes a colleague you have lunch with. Remember that next time you fill out an expense form.
Sure enough there’s a difference between petty details and the important ones. Petty ones lead no where. Important ones contribute to the company’s overall vision. Knowing how to tell the difference is vital. Petty details are short-term distractions and excuses camouflaged as important urgencies. Remember that next time you spend 20 minutes unwinding your phone cord. Important details are vision-driven, solution-focused and have a positive long term impact on the company you work with. Remember that next time you take 20 minutes to hand write a thank you note to send to a client.
Some might argue that to be detail-oriented and accurate you must slow down. I say only if you lack focus. It is possible to be quick and accurate at the same time. This simply depends on how present you are at any given moment.
And that’s your biggest clue to acting with attention to detail – being in the here & now. The more you can achieve that, the greater you will be.