The Fifth Inning: Many singles are better than one solo home run

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Today is the fifth inning of The Porch’s baseball series at the start of the 2016 season. Today, we look at the important concept of “Many singles are better than one solo home run”. So, here is the full line-up for the series:

· First Inning: Everyone has a chance!

· Second Inning: Patient pondering, then frantic action!

· Third Inning: The aggressive team is often the winning team

· Fourth Inning: If you can hit….

· Fifth Inning: Many singles are better than one solo home run

· Sixth Inning: A strong bullpen is key

· Seventh Inning: Time to stretch

· Eighth Inning: Rally time!

· Ninth Inning: “It ain’t over till it’s over”

Everyone loves to see a home run! And, every baseball player enjoys hitting them. As a kid, my friends and I were always having contests to see who could hit the ball farther than anyone else. During our recess baseball games, the target was to see who could hit a home run on the roof of the school. When I think back to my baseball escapades, many of my favorite memories are those involving home runs. However, some of my most important baseball memories are those that involve singles. I remember that we won a conference championship once with a single barely out of reach of the second baseman. Home runs are dramatic, but a string of singles can make the difference in the game.

Colin Powell once said, “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” Though we all want to be successful in those big events or big projects or big initiatives, we develop the culture of excellence as individuals or as a company through those everyday small things… those day-by-day things that define who we are.

I once hosted a European regulatory inspection. In the first hour of the inspection, the investigators asked to visit the men’s dressing room where employees dressed into clean uniforms. The investigators asked to actually look into a few of the lockers. We obliged (with individual employee approval) and the investigators merely looked in without further comment. Later, we asked the purpose of the visit to the dressing room and locker inspection. The investigator said that it was his experience that if the dressing room is neat and clean and if employee lockers are orderly, they would invariably see care and pride in the work environment. By doing the little things well, the important things – such as product protection, following procedures, and documenting well – would also be well done. If we develop habits in the small things, we will see excellence in the big things.

Everyone wants the “big assignment.” Everyone wants to hit that home run at work. Everyone wants to hit the ball farther than everyone else. However, we also need everyone to make a difference with the small things. By doing those small things well, they add up to big things. Many singles add up to more than a home run with no one on base.

Have a fantastic day!

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