That Little Something Extra.. Successful Businesses Try Harder

Small Business SparkYou ever notice how very successful people and organizations always  have that little something extra?   Instead of simply running with the  crowd or doing just what is expected, they strive to be different,  better, and try just a bit harder than their competition.   I’ve long  believed that success is incremental rather than something that happens  all at once.  It’s the little things that take place every day that make  the difference.  It’s the habits/attitudes formed through a lifetime of  regular practice that “move the needle” forward.

After years of working with a large number of leaders from multiple  disciplines and fields, I’ve come to the following conclusions about top  performers:

  • They set very high standards for themselves and abhor mediocrity
  • They are committed to their own professional development and learning
  • They always do what they say they will do
  • They are rarely if ever unprepared for important meetings
  • They never ask others to do something, they wouldn’t do themselves
  • They deplore distractions and are able to prioritize and focus on what’s most important
  • They take calculated well thought out risks
  • They don’t always have all the right answers but they are committed to asking the right questions
  • They take real pride in how they treat their customers and employees
  • They have never been, nor will ever be, “clock watchers”
  • They take failure personally and almost never repeat mistakes
  • They show up every day and give it their best effort even (especially) when this is hard

One would think that all of the effort required to live up to the  above listed points would look difficult, but it doesn’t.  Paradoxically  these people make success look easy.   It’s not rocket science.  Just  like the dancer who works hard every day to perfect their craft and then  performs flawlessly on stage or the golfer who regularly practices all  the tough shots then makes them under competitive pressure, they’ve  trained themselves to excel.

Of course there are examples of people who simply get lucky and seem  to almost stumble into success.  Some individuals do win the lottery.    However, the odds of being one of the lucky few are very slim, almost  infinitesimal.  Hope is not a strategy.  It’s the little things you do  each and every day that build the habits that lead to true success and  accomplishment.

Category: Innovation Leadership


About the Author: Ed Robinson

Ed Robinson is the President and Founder of Capacity Building Solutions Inc. (, a consulting firm he started in June 2002 to foc

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