We have heard it said, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” While, I understand what is being said in that statement about not getting tied up in little things and missing the big picture, it can become an excuse for mediocrity.
It is the details that separate good from great, excellent from average, even bad from good.
I spend almost every Thursday morning at a local Panera working on message prep and writing. I like the atmosphere, the flow of people, and the food. As I type out this blog post, there is an extra amount of activity taking place as two of the managers and two other workers are very busy sweating the small stuff. Stuff that matters. There is a lull in customer activity at the same every morning and one of the managers was on a ladder wiping clean the ceiling and tracks for the lighting. Once it started getting busier, he moved to cleaning railing and the edges around the counters and half walls in the dining room. Another manager is wiping the metal posts and handles and supports around the doors and windows at the entrance. An employee is outside in the cold sweeping up the salt and other debris left over from the winter weather we had a few days ago. They are even cleaning the door sills and wiping down tables and chairs outside. I can tell you that this restaurant looks, smells, and feels clean all the time because they sweat the small stuff.
We have all been in dives that don’t take care of the details. You know the places where you are almost afraid to touch anything and when you leave you smell like grease and burnt toast. Another national chain comes to mind that is found along interstates with yellow and black block letters.
One is comfortable and warm and clean. A place to hang out and think, write, and brainstorm. The other, well, I only go there if I have to. One is more expensive than the other, but it is worth it because they take care of the details.
If we can learn to sweat the small stuff while keeping the big picture in mind, it just might help us get to the next level wherever we are at the moment.
It takes energy and effort and a git’er done attitude. It’s not for the lazy or the distracted. It takes strength and resolve and focus to achieve anything great. It takes sweating the small stuff.