“It’s the smaller daily accomplishments that build and sustain us.” Ichak Adizes, business expert
I am a member of The Build Network, a publication for small businesses. The quotation above was taken from a Build story about a turnaround expert who was helping a big, once profitable company — a leader in it’s field – but that has now “fallen on hard times and getting eaten up by younger, hungrier competitors.” Sound familiar? Here is one part of the story:
“When I got the management team together the first time, they were expecting me to unveil a new strategy or fire most of them. Instead, I simply told them to report for work the following day at 8 a.m. As they were filing out of the office, I said, ‘And wear old clothes.’
When the executives showed up the next day I told each of them to get a pad and a pencil. I told them to go around the office making a list of minor office repairs that had been neglected — burned out lightbulbs, leaky faucets in the restroom, windows that had been painted shut, stains on the carpet, that kind of stuff. When we had a master list, I broke them into pairs and told them to go fix the problems.
Here they were, the top executives of a once proud company relaxed and upbeat, almost giddy, as they discussed what had been happening that day. They were coming to terms with the realization that they had lost all faith in their ability to get anything done, to solve even the smallest problems. This one day didn’t change all that, but it was a beginning.
And in the days and weeks that followed we built on this, from the simpler tasks to the more complex and ambitious. If we had started with a new bold vision for the company, Adizes told us, this turnaround would never have succeeded. We think it’s the big bold vision that motivates people, and maybe it does, but only for a day or two. After that, it’s the smaller daily accomplishments that build and sustain us.”
Take Control Of The Small Things
I’m continually amazed by the countless similarities between strategies to build a business and strategies to build a life.
In the first chapter of the Radical Recovery book, I advise you to go pick out a special bar of soap that both smells good and feels good in your hands. As you use the soap every day in the shower, you are to be grateful for the ability to experience that simple pleasure, daily. It’s such a small thing, but the change in your thinking is powerful.
Let’s not try to solve all of our problems today, but instead concentrate on taking control of the small things that we can actually do something about right now. As the editors of Build conclude, “Small deserves more respect.” I agree.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much …” ~ Luke 16:10a (NIV)