A few weeks ago I was honored to be invited to attend a “Marketing Field-trip” to Silicon Valley, where we visited Google, Adobe, Apple and ended at Dropbox in San Francisco. Each company was mind-blowing in many ways, despite differences in operations, sales, marketing and culture. But the one consistency was the expectation for excellence. It was the minimum standard that employees have self-governing personal pride for their work and contribution, and for what they bring to the culture – and not to treat that flippantly.
When we got off the elevator at Dropbox, I had the wind knocked out of me the moment the stainless steel doors opened. You were greeted in stark white halls with the company values – right there on a wall painted on beautiful cream-colored canvas. Each one was perfectly aligned side by side. The one that made me stop, really stop, was their final value statement:
“Sweat the Details”
I felt like someone put an arm around me and whispered, “You are not an overachieving, perfectionist, never-good-enough monger with unrelenting standards. Your expectations are completely real and valid.” It was validation.
Anyone who knows me, personally or professionally, knows I am a total pain in the arse about details. I do sweat the small stuff. I sweat every single detail when it comes to relationships and service. They do matter, most often – more than anything else.
And I know hundreds of small business owners and team leaders who do as well. They call and email me, daily: “I know I’m a ___ (perfectionist, control freak, overachiever), but it’s making me nuts that she didn’t make the coffee and turn on the music and the inviting water feature again before our first appointment of the day. It’s imperative that the clients feel like they just stepped into a warm living room and instantly feel calm and safe. I don’t want to upset her again…. Am I overreacting?”
Hello! NO you are not overreacting. And you know, you don’t need to apologize for expecting and/or wanting this or having a critical conversation when it doesn’t occur.
Sweat the Details. If a company like Dropbox with a $4 billion + valuation (forbes.com) doesn’t even hesitate to greet you at their corporate headquarters when you enter the main floor with a 8x11 painting stating so, permission granted. And don’t ever apologize for it again.
Every detail matters. The details are what distinguish us in the marketplace and harvest client, employee and community referrals.
If you’re struggling with how to get your team to sweat the details, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary 30-minute team diagnostic call.
Molly L. Hall, Co-Founder, Lawyers with Purpose, LLC, and author of Don’t Be a Yes Chick: How to Stop Babysitting Your Boss, Transform Your Job and Work with a Dream Team Without Losing Your Sanity or Your Spirit in the Process.