February 11, 2019
People often assume that what they do does not make a difference. If everyone took a stance and truly thought their daily tasks – small or large – helped change the world, then the world would be different. No matter what you do, as long as you are doing something positive, YOU MATTER!
Tim Goad is one of my favorite people and one of his favorite sayings is: “You matter.” At The Alliance, every single agent, every single client matters. You matter. You make a difference. You help. You contribute. You are part of a team that is going somewhere. You are part of a team that is having fun, making money, and making a difference in people’s lives. Every action, person and detail adds up when all is said and done.
I am reminded of a story of a reporter visiting NASA’s Apollo program noticing a janitor working at a high rate of speed and with a sense of urgency about him. The reporter asked him how long he had worked there and he said for years. The reporter then asked him why he seemed to do things with such urgency.
The janitor quickly told the reporter, “I’m cleaning up for the team that is going to put a man on the moon. It’s urgent that we do it for our country and our team.” The janitor stepped back and realized that a team had been created at NASA, and there was now not only a chance, but likelihood that NASA would put a man on the moon because everyone on the team mattered. Everyone cared. NASA started Oct. 1, 1958. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong took man’s first steps on the moon.
There are still those types of stories going on in America today. People still dream big, and they desire to be part of a team’s success. There’s a revitalization going on in this country and it’s incredible what a team can do when everybody understands what each individual can do when they know that they matter.
“That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” – Astronaut Neil Armstrong
It’s that kind of thinking that can make all the difference in the world. If you share the common purpose of the team, then you are going to be more efficient in your daily tasks – whether small or large duties.
If you can find people with that kind of mentality, look out! If you can be a leader that gets people to believe that what they do matters, then it is going to be on like Donkey Kong.
A tiny nail in a horseshoe can lead to losing your horse. Losing your horse can mean losing a soldier in the battle. That can lead to losing the war. Tiny shifts – good or bad – can make all the difference in your success or failure. All your actions create shifts. They might seem small at the time, but they can be monumental over a period of time.
People like to talk about the “little things” in business. They can make or break you, if you don’t recognize them and make them a priority. For every action there is a reaction. Andy Andrews likes to call it the “Butterfly Effect.” Good or bad something happens next. Always. Paying attention to minor, little things can take you from good to great or demote you from great back to good. Nobody likes to go backward.
Great leaders notice the little things. When things are not right, it often drives them nuts and they will do whatever it takes to correct it if they are effective leaders. You can’t ignore what you know is not right and can be fixed. No detail is too small to fix.
As a team member, you too have to understand your job and role is hugely important to the success of any project or mission. If you are the janitor, you should be the best janitor you can possibly be, keeping your assigned area clean as a whistle. Be a champion of efficiency. Find the trash and get it in its proper place before you have a real mess on your hands.
This includes all kinds of areas in your business. It is things like employee engagement, customer service, and even time management in a way that reduces your chance of success. When you take the time to consider the little things, then you increase your chance to create a connected and cohesive company.
I’ve read studies that suggest that a person’s attention span on any given task dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds in 2013. I’m afraid the number is going to continue going down in the world we live in now. We certainly can multitask like nobody’s business now, but we have lost our way in terms of communication with others in a lot of ways.
We have so many choices and distractions now. Our attention is constantly changing from place to place. Technology and tools have opened so much, yet set us back in terms of face-to-face interactions and communication.
We have to be mindful and creative when we are communication with people. Even a simple email to say thank you to a person might be the game changer that was needed for a project to reach completion. Maybe it is a handwritten note instead of an email? These simple, little things can make a difference whether we think so or not. Don’t be afraid to be creative. Do little things to make the project more meaningful, or take the project to a deeper level of communication or personalization.
Think about things that people have done for you that really hit you in a good way. It’s likely those same little gestures that made you feel special will be the very things you need to do for others to make your business and communications stronger. Value people’s time and give them the respect you seek in return. Your time is valuable and so we can’t waste other people’s time.
Be aware and focus on making strong, meaningful connections. If you can get past a selfish mindset and find a way to bring value to people, then you will win in the long run. Find out what your teammates want and help them achieve their goals. They are going to return the favor by helping you get what you want too.
Be intentional in all that you do. Live by your calendar and make sure it is set up to help you be successful if you follow it. Take personal time for self-reflection daily. At least five minutes every day should be spent alone with your thoughts. Remember that everything matters and has a consequence.
Fix problems quickly. Seek improvement in what you are doing currently. Think about how you can keep improving all the time. Keep working hard, keep believing in people and know that no task or detail is too small to congratulate people on completing or finishing.