Small things often lead to big problems

Today, we will look at one quote from Benjamin Franklin, an early American philosopher, politician, and inventor (be patient, you might have to read this twice):

“For want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe, the horse was lost; and for want of a horse, the rider was lost; being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for the want of care about a horseshoe nail.” 

This quote talks about three things in my mind that apply to us:

  1. Details are important Neglecting the minor items can ruin us.  Our work in heavily compliance-dominated business is all about the details.  I am always amazed at how many details covering months or years that are examined by the regulatory investigators without a problem.  Doing the small things right leads to compliance with the big things.
  2. The root cause is not always evidentThis illustrates perfectly the importance of getting to the root cause when investigating issues or problems.  Unless we do, the problem is likely to recur.
  3. Big things can be influenced by the most minor of thingsThat one detail we neglect is the one that will cause us problems.  Excellence cannot occur unless we do those small things well.

How about you?  Have you neglected a shoe nail that could lead to a bigger problem down the road?  Are we really looking for the root cause of our problems or merely accepting the first thing we see?  And, do we realize that much can hinge upon little?  What needs our attention today?

Today just might be our very best day yet!   Have a great one!

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