Wednesday Wisdom–Success is in the Details

We have added several new team members since we started Wednesday Wisdom way back when, so I selected at random a Wednesday Wisdom from the archives to re-publish.  We’ll continue to sprinkle in some oldies but goodies as we go.  This one was interesting to re-read.  Coincidentally, the trip referenced was the kick-off for our Aloft project, which we break ground on next week.  The moral of this story is, how can we anticipate and attend to the details for our customers and co-workers?  I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday Wisdom–Success is in the Details (Originally published June 15, 2016)

There’s a common saying, especially in the legal profession—“The Devil is in the details.”  But I think there’s a better saying—“Success is in the details.”

Yesterday, members of our team were escorted on a Lubbock businessman’s private jet to the Starwood Hotels world headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.  (For purposes of this story—this Lubbock gentleman has a jet he flies on to manage a company he founded, i.e. generally pretty successful)  This gentleman is not in the business of air travel, but the entire experience was seamless and professional.  When I arrived at the hangar in the dark at 6:30 am, I was warmly greeted by one of the pilots, who directed me to drive over a spotless hangar floor and park up front toward the plane.  He opened my car door and invited me to make use of coffee and the lounge facilities while the others arrived.  The facilities were spotless.  They then guided us to our seats on the plane, and once in the air, served us Einstein bagels and fresh fruit.  The plates had the plane’s tail numbered emblazoned in gold, and the water bottles and napkins carried the same logo.  Our host graciously made sure we were comfortable, showed us how to work the seats and various amenities of the plane, and pointed out sites along the way.

When we arrived, a suburban was waiting at the door of the pilots’ lounge for our group of eight.  We zipped right to our destination.  When we completed our meeting, the gentleman had pizzas ordered and ready for our flight home.  The whole cabin of the plane had been refreshed while we were gone, our empty water bottles from the morning’s flight were replenished, and we were treated to a movie in the air.  Once back on the ground in Lubbock, they set mats out for us to wipe our feet from the rain, including one at my truck door so that I would be sure to not slip.  They kindly directed me out of the hangar and I was on my way.

So why do I share all this?  Certainly not to brag, but it is to illustrate the power of details.  This was my first time flying out of a hangar on a private jet, and I had NO idea what to expect and had no idea how it worked.  But from the moment I pulled in yesterday morning to the moment I left, all my questions were anticipated and answered before I had to ask them.  I was put completely at ease.  And I left the day with tremendous confidence in this gentleman’s team and product.  He didn’t have to do any of it.  But if he and his staff could pay so much attention to detail for what to them was a routine trip for a meeting, I can only imagine the amount of detail they put into their actual product/service.  I watched this gentleman all day to learn tips about what has made him so successful, and I am convinced his success is in the details, and the execution of those details.

Did most of those details cost a whole lot more money?  Not at all.  But it did take thought, planning, practice, and conscientiousness.  What are some ways we can execute the details in our business?  What effects do you think they will have?