My wife (Kristen) said this to me the other day when we were discussing her business. She has a wonderful team at Vocelles Bridal, which she is very proud of and she was reflecting on how important it is to have everyone on the team understand that everything they do matters in regards to interactions with customers and with each other.
Reflecting on our own organizations, what we do, what we don’t do, what we say, what we don’t say, how we do it, how we say it, who we say it to, etc., everything matters. This applies to all leaders and to all members of an organization. Classifying “everything” as relevant is overwhelming. People make mistakes daily, but what is important is that they believe everything they do and how they do it, matters. If there is belief, there is self-awareness, and if there is self-awareness, there will be continuous improvement. It takes many years for some to embrace this, while others never will (those who never do, end up making the same mistakes over and over), however it is an absolute requirement for anyone in a Leadership role.
Lack of self-awareness can also lead to too much focus on you in regards to success, and putting all the blame on others when something goes wrong. There is a difference in being the best at what you do and being a great leader. You can be the best at what you do, without fully embracing the belief that everything matters, however your full potential will never be reached. The focus on “you” will ultimately lead to failure in a leadership role. When people are not embracing the everything matters theory, there is high-potential to be unknowingly disrespectful, overly dominant, and defensive, both internally and sometimes externally. In some situations it is best for high performers not to be in leadership positions if they cannot fully embrace this principle.
As leaders we also have to recognize when members of the team totally lose sight of the principle. For example, no team member has the right to be dis-respectful to others – which includes internal team members. That should never be tolerated, and there is no excuse for it. It only takes one time to burn a bridge with a co-worker, or with a customer and many times it is irreparable. There are countless other examples, but this is likely the most severe.
Look around the organization and identify those who fully understand and live by the rule that “everything we do and how we do it, matters”. They are the leaders and future leaders of the organization.