According to studies, the average American consumes 17 teaspoons of sugar per day. Strictly in terms of volume, this is a small amount. And so, it is a fact that is easily dismissed.
However, over a lifetime, those seemingly insignificant teaspoons add up to nearly two tons!
When you consider that our ancestors consumed only two pounds of sugar per year, and today’s Americans are consuming two tons in a lifetime, you begin to realize the impact of the little things.
The average medical expenditure per person who is diagnosed with just one disease related to this epidemic is $13,700 per year. This cost, combined with the increasing number of people affected by it, compounds to a point where it affects the entire health care industry.
How could the numbers begin to work?
Fix the problem.
How do you fix the problem?
Address the teaspoons.
The same holds true for business.
Little things matter. Are you addressing these “teaspoons” in business?
- A little miscommunication.
- A thought spoken without considering its potential impact.
- Failing to address a seemingly minor issue.
- Failing to communicate a small, but important detail.
- Failing to communicate in a way that best fits the person to whom you are speaking.
Team issues are a major factor in business, resulting in lost productivity and affecting results. In most instances, team issues are, at their core, communication issues.
The communication patterns noted above, if not addressed, build over time to create diseased teams and organizations. Leaders who fail to communicate well on small things are failing to communicate. And they may not realize the impact until it is significantly affecting productivity and results. At that point, it becomes a “two ton” problem.
Consider a current team issue. Could it have been prevented by communicating with an individual or group of individuals about a “small thing?” Did someone feel left out because an important detail of the plan was not conveyed to them? In quickly making a point, did you inadvertently steamroll one of your team members?
How can you address these issues? First, acknowledge they exist and make necessary amends. Then, going forward, address things at the teaspoon instead of the truckload stage of communications.
Business math is very simple. Here’s the formula: Sales = Business. And, conversely, No Sales = No Business. Every business leader is consumed with sales, as they should be.
“How can we increase sales?”
“Why are sales down this month?”
They key with sales, as with communications, is to address the teaspoons before they become a major issue.
Did you launch a new program or product that showed lackluster results? Your customers and clients are trying to tell you something. There is something about the program or product that does not work for them. Business leaders can become enamored with an idea to a point where they fail to address the little preferences being expressed by their potential customers and clients.
Is your key salesperson showing a recent drop in results?
Is there a slight uptick in customer complaints about a particular product, program, or service?
As a leader, you must pay close attention to these little ticks on the sales radar and, where necessary, respond with speed and agility. This may mean you rollback a recent change or provide additional training and incentive for your salesperson or have a conversation to determine why their sales have slackened and how you can help them address the issue. It also means you must listen to the comments of your customer service team. They are your front lines. Listening and addressing these small issues may prevent major losses.
Sugar tastes good. It even makes you feel good. But any good thing taken to excess can be a bad thing.
This is where good management comes into play. Spending feels good. Upgrading equipment, buying supplies, handing out perks, planning retreats at lavish resorts, establishing a professional office – these are the “feel good” factors in business. And to a degree, they make sense.
But taken to excess, they can erode profits to a point of company detriment. If your corner office is extravagant, but your plants are failing on compliance issues, management is failing to address the little things.
A good manager will examine each “little expenditure” and each “little action” in light of the cumulative bigger picture, to ensure the doses are moderated toward the success of the business. Failure to address these little things can have massive consequences.This same principle holds true in any area of company management – from accounting to legal to administration. Those who succeed – who create business profit – are those who pay close attention to the little things.
Whether it is in communications, sales, or management, the key is simple and memorable: Address the teaspoons instead of the truckloads.
For valuable resources on how you can create better communication, sales, and management by addressing the little things, click here to learn about the Maxwell Method of Communication and Sales Reports.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.