Monday, 1 July 2013

Small and incremental steps do make a difference! by Stephen Pauley




Life is all about margins – there is often a small difference between winning and losing, success and failure, hitting or missing a target, winning or losing an election.

I am sure that you can think of countless examples from your own life experiences. It can be the tiniest of margins that determine the outcome of a situation. We all sometimes mistakenly think that we have to keep taking massive action to get a result. The fact is that small incremental steps towards a goal accumulate into massive progress when applied consistently. 

One action per day applied every working day of the year, towards a specific goal amounts to 260 separate actions and seems somehow bigger when you look at it like that!

As I am writing this, I am reminded of that famous African Proverb, often attributed to Anita Roddick, Founder of Body Shop:-
If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito’.
This quote always reminds me to keep in mind the power of small! A small action is better than no action and you do not achieve anything without some sort of action!

It is a great quote to use in your team meetings and interactions with staff about the importance of small actions and the huge impact they can have. Sometimes that little margin can be the difference between landing a big contract or missing out. It could be 1% extra effort seals the deal. That small action may just give you the edge over a competitor organisation.

A great example of edge is the story of Johnnie Wilkinson the England Rugby International who secured the Rugby World Cup for his country in 2003 in the final seconds of the final against Australia with a drop goal. Wilkinson’s kick won the game.

Wilkinson had spent the previous Christmas Day practicing his kicking. Johnnie had figured that any opponent he faced in the finals (who ever that may be) would not be out practicing on Christmas Day. He figured that little bit of extra practice and preparation may just give him the edge and so his theory was proved correct.

First Class Leaders look for the edge, they know that one per cent extra effort, action, or preparation could make all the difference. They understand the importance of small.
·       Where could you or team apply one per cent additional focus or effort?
·       What impact could that have on your results?

I enjoy helping Leaders and business owners deliver and sustain high levels of performance and have a life! Please feel free to contact me to arrange a chat to explore how I can help you or your team grow your results and give you the edge.

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