Welcome > Blog > Blog Posts > Make sure the forks are straight and the rest will look after itself
13th January, 2015
Tom Bircham is the Nwes Senior Business Events Advisor and is based in London promoting the government Growth Vouchers programme. Tom’s passion is helping people to help their business, whether it’s a new venture, or one that has the potential to grow. Here he explains the fundamentals behind attention to detail and the benefits it can have, not only in business, but as a general life skill too.
John Foster Dulles once said “A man’s accomplishments in life are the cumulative effect of his attention to detail”.
I was often mocked during my time as an events manager by my staff for being anal, as I would visit every table at an event and make sure every piece of cutlery was straight, all the table furniture was facing the same way and every table looked identical. It took a little bit more time, but in the long run I would be satisfied that I had done everything I possibly could to make sure everything looked as it should.
It is so easy for the smallest thing to have a negative impact, that if you have the opportunity to make things perfect then you should do everything you can to seize that chance. It will also help you to achieve peace of mind safe in the knowledge that you have taken all the necessary steps to make sure that you have all bases covered.
People have often commented on my calmness under pressure and I am able to live like this for two reasons. Firstly I contextualise things, even under extreme pressure I make sure I keep the bigger picture in mind – I am healthy, my family is healthy and I have a good life. If I make a mistake my world will not fall apart. Secondly, a former managing director once said to me ‘keep it simple stupid’ (K.I.S.S.) and this is a principle that is key to being effective – if you don’t need to complicate something then don’t.
This second principle is important when approaching attention to detail. If you can do the simple things really well then the rest will fall in to place. If you overcomplicate matters that is when things often fall down.
The other advantage of good attention to detail is that is will set you apart from your competition and make sure you are ahead of the game. It takes little more time but in the long run you will end up saving time by doing things correctly and you will be recognised for being the best at what you do.
This is illustrated brilliantly in a tale taken from when Henry Kissinger was President Nixon’s Secretary of State. Happy reading!
The Growth Voucher Scheme is a Government programme whereby small businesses can apply for £2,000 match funding to finance strategic business advice. Tom is working with organisations in the region to help them maximise their full potential by taking advantage of match funding available from this project. Find out more here.
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