Greatness in the Details
There is only a slight margin of difference between good and great.
For organizations, the difference is in the experience. Specialty coffee shops are difficult to tell apart these days. I count no less than ten of them within a few miles of my home. It’s possible to get a good, drinkable cup of coffee at each one.
What is the “greatness” differentiator?
It’s the experience details. The barista who takes the time to understand that I want to hang out and work while drinking my coffee in a ceramic mug will win the day for me. I won’t complain if the barista assumes I want a paper cup and proceeds through the process with little interaction. The coffee will probably still be good. (It’s a rare specialty coffee shop that actually has bad coffee.)
But greatness is in the details. It doesn’t take a lot to create an experience that sets you apart. But it does take intention.
The same is true for leaders.
There are many good leaders in the world. People who are skilled, experienced, visionary, and high-capacity. Good leaders, like good coffee shops, are not difficult to find. And I’m grateful for this.
We need good leaders. Everybody can’t be “above average” without raising the standard of average. Good leaders are needed everywhere. Many good leaders don’t even know they’re leading at all. They’ve stepped into an unexpected role and perform with competence. Good leaders make for good organizations.
But what about when it’s time to level up?
I suspect that “leveling up” is not going to be a quantum leap. It’s going to be intentionally adjusting a detail that makes all the difference.
I’m interested in the details that make great leaders.
Because great leaders are the detail that makes great organization, and, ultimately, a better world.