This is just a little summation of an important lesson my managing director gave me…
What is your favorite sport?
I was sitting with my managing director (‘MD’) in his office and waiting for a teleconference call so we could discuss a networking lunch with some significant key clients.
My MD suddenly asked me if I knew what 1% people were. At first I was confused, and I responded with a sarcastic, “the rich people?”
He told me know and asked me what my favorite sport was. For the sake of discussion, I blurted out basketball (though in reality, I would have said several different sports).
My MD then told me that when you look at the winning teams in basketball, what differentiates them from the other teams is not the statistics you see on the highlights: field goals, points, free throws, rebounds, assists, etc. He told me to pay attention to the habits and the “1 percenter” actions that are not recorded: when defense puts pressure on the ball and makes it more difficult to score, when the team hustles on the offensive and scores before the defense can retaliate, always having a perfect formation before making a play, etc.
I later researched this and learned that 1 percenter is an actual statistic kept in Australian Rules Football.
The observation in the office
After this lesson, he pointed out to several things that I was doing in my work that constituted these “1%” actions: tabbing exactly where he needs to sign/review in a contract, not using a stapler and using a alligator clip to separate documents (because he hates staples and disorganization), and using folders for every different project. The 1% actions make the difference between an average company or person, and the best of them all.
But now there was no excuse
After that, any time I forgot to do the 1% actions, My MD chewed me out (nicely).
It was a simple lesson in taking care of the little things. But it was also a great reminder of the things I was doing in hospitality that I should be incorporating more in the office.
Always keep the 1 percenters in mind when doing your work. The little details are the things that add up to future promotions and success in life.