The devil in the details

I’m getting ready to take a business trip, and I’m excited to meet some family in France at the end of it. Since I will be hopping from location to location on this trip, I gave my cousin my cell number and the phone numbers of all our plants and the dates I will be at each. Pat myself on the back for such great planning and foresight.

This morning I received an email from her asking me to provide my train number and time of arrival in Paris so she can be in the right place at the right time to pick me up. Wow. For all my self-satisfied planning efforts, I neglected to give her the most important pieces of information, and the only ones that were truly necessary.

Have you ever been so caught up in the details, in making sure the accoutrements were just right, that you neglected the very heart of the matter? Have you ever made a Power Point presentation look really, really good but neglected the content? Did you ever visit 15 customers on a business trip but didn’t schedule time with the one who would have made the biggest difference to your business? I’m sure you have your own example; we’ve all been there.

The point is, when we get busy making sure all the details are covered, we shouldn’t forget to step back and make sure the real task at hand is complete.

Valerie, I’ll be on TGV 2880. See you soon.

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