This will only be a one minute read. And completely worth that time.
One of my superb physician clients said the other day “Karl, it is all in the details. It is all in the details”. Wise words.
Around two years ago I wrote a blog post about “Picking up Lint”. It told the story of two C-suite executives, the CEO and COO, that I observed one day picking up lint outside a major bank of elevators in the hospital they lead. It so impressed me that these two women, leading a multi-million dollar, hundreds of beds hospital, would take the time to pick up the lint on the floor instead of just phoning housekeeping. No detail was too small to be overlooked. Would they want their patients and family members having a less than favorable impression of their facility? No way!!
This morning, at 0700, I am walking down the hall and here comes the COO down the hall…coffee cup in one hand and papers in the other. And what do I see her do? Yep. Without hardly breaking stride she swings to her left, stoops down, picks up a paper on the floor, drops it in a trash can and keeps on walking.
Did anything change for the hospital by her doing it? Perhaps not. But symbolically it says volumes. I have sat with this person in meetings. Quiet, attentive, somewhat understated…and misses nothing. And she is very busy, which could be an excuse for not dealing with such small details as picking up lint. But her dedication to having every patient have a superb experience, from a clean carpet to the best of clinical care.
So, a mid-week question – where are the details in your leadership, so easily overlooked, that could take you and your enterprise to the next level?