How to Use This Golden Rule to Achieve Superior Results

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If you long to accomplish great and noble tasks, you first must learn to approach every task as though it were great and noble. Even the grandest project depends on the success of the smallest components.

Many people downplay small details, dismissing them as minutia-the “small stuff,” that we’re encouraged to ignore.

But, in fact, our whole environment is simply an accumulation of tiny details.

Although we measure our lives in years, we live them in days, hours, minutes and seconds. Every action-every detail of our lives—has bottom-line repercussions, and it’s dangerous and derogatory to think of any of those details as trivial, unimportant or inconsequential.

Successful people, in many walks of life, understand the importance
of detail and why everything counts:

  • Crime scene investigators know that it’s often the smallest, most obscure detail that results in the arrest and prosecution of criminals.
  • Athletes and coaches are all too aware that one minor misjudgment can swing momentum to their competitor, and result in a loss rather than a win.
  • Doctors and nurses understand that the slightest mistake or loss of focus can result in a tragic situation that carries massive liability.
  • Engineers and architects know that the stability of the most gigantic structure depends on the integrity of its smallest element; a failed bolt or a misplaced pin can have huge consequences.
  • Fireman, first responders and other emergency personnel are trained to focus on details even as a tragedy unfolds, as every second can make the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.

Ultimately the key to quality and excellence in every aspect of our lives is doing little things correctly, all the time, every time, so that each action produces a quality result.

When every detail is lovingly attended to, and each step in the process is given complete and careful attention, the end result inevitably will be of the highest quality.

The magic behind every outstanding performance, exceptional meal, fine piece of furniture, jewelry or clothing is always found in the smallest of details.

Those who enjoy the greatest success understand that it takes hundreds of small, seemingly insignificant details repeated perfectly day in and day out to create an unforgettably excellent experience.

The people who deliver superior results are not simply doing more of the same things everyone else does; they are doing better things, and they are making everything count.

Very small differences, consistently practiced, produce superior results. (That’s worth rereading.)

The distance between those who achieve their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following has everything to do with one’s ability to go the extra mile.

Search wherever you will for a single sound argument against the principle of going the extra mile, and you will not find it, nor will you find a single instance of enduring success which was not attained in part by its application.

From parenting children to managing a staff, the true leaders in any field are willing to go farther than anyone else…the extra mile.

Your ability to elicit behavior that goes above and beyond the call of duty is a key asset and competitive weapon, one that is extremely difficult for competitors to imitate and virtually
impossible to ignore.

In today’s competitive environment, it’s simply not enough to just show up and do your work. Simply stated, superior performance is not, never has been, nor will it ever be the by-product or ordinary efforts!

You must embrace the fact that in order for you to remain competitive, than it’s in your best interest to learn what it takes to go the extra mile and exceed expectations at all times.

Knowing that Everything Counts is the way to focus and achieve superior results.

Everything Counts is an execution strategy for inspiring excellence and driving exceptional results. It offers a profoundly important message for running a great business and for enjoying a fulfilling quality of life.

Its meaning is simple, yet powerful…

Everything you think…

Everything you say…

Everything you do…

has a direction…

which takes you…

towards or away…

from your goals.

You can only move forward or backward…

there is no standing still…

there is no staying the same…

there is no coasting, as…

Everything you think, say and do…

compliments or comprises…

impresses or disappoints…

builds up or tears down…

turns on or turns off…

adds or subtracts…

nothing is neutral.

Everything – regardless of size or intent – has bottom-line consequences; therefore, Everything Counts.

This is the Golden Rule of Excellence!

By adopting the golden rule of excellence, you’ll begin to examine even the smallest details; those which in the past may have compromised performance and even contaminated your character and reputation.

No matter how you define performance excellence, it will always include exceptional quality, meticulous attention to details, uncompromising standards, and superior craftsmanship fueled by love and passion.

Excellence is respected and admired, and serves as the triumphant accomplishment of those unwilling to accept anything less than their absolute best.

World-class results are the product of world-class habits and activities. From start to finish, the distinguishing characteristics of success are found in the details.

The popular philosophy that instructs us not to “sweat the small stuff” is flawed, because it breeds poor customer service, under performance, wasted opportunity, mistakes, inconsistencies, rework, and oversights.

From typos to tardiness, many people and organizations act as if details just don’t matter much. The result of this mind-set is that they treat customers poorly, deliver sloppy results, and show up both unprepared and late.

While mission statements and service creeds extol excellence, quality, and consistency, clients and customers tend to receive mediocrity, apathy, and–far too often–incompetence.

We all have it within ourselves the power to raise the bar of our own performance any time we wish by dumping “don’t sweat” complacency and embracing an “Everything Counts!” attitude.

Make no mistake, the adoption of an Everything Counts! Philosophy takes conscious effort, immense discipline, and a deep reservoir of commitment. If it were easy, you wouldn’t need those attributes to be successful.

[Editor’s Note: Gary Ryan Blair helps business owners, corporate executives and sales professionals manage their time, set their priorities, and stay focused so they can achieve their goals, grow their business, enjoy more success and greater freedom. Click here to join Gary Ryan Blair’s 100 Day Challenge so you can make big changes in your life.]

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  • Great post Gary. On our radio program, I often repeat John Wooden’s quote of “little things make big things happen.” Indeed they do.

    Wooden: “I think very definitely it’s the little things that make the big things
    happen. It’s putting your shoes on properly. It’s getting the wrinkles
    out of your socks so you won’t get blisters. Those are important things.
    It’s making sure that no soap is left on the shower room floor where
    someone — maybe not you, but somebody else — might slip and fall and
    hurt themselves. Just little things like that. They may seem
    inconsequential, but I think they’re important. I think teaching your
    youngsters to be courteous to airline stewardesses, courteous to
    waitresses, courteous to all people in hotels, I think makes you a
    better team. I think that helps your basketball. I think that makes you a
    better basketball player. I think it brings you together more.”

    Monty Campbell