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Keith Wishum: Doing the small things is critical

Would you like to make more money? Would you like a higher-level job? Here’s your ticket to greater things: whatever it is, do your job well today.

After a lecture from her boss about the importance of paying attention to details, Darlene Stelljes decided to see if the boss practiced what he preached. When she prepared checks for the next pay period, she added two extra zeros to hers. She watched as the boss signed the checks and thought she had him when he signed hers without hesitation. She was surprised, however, when she saw that, on her check, instead of his name, the boss had written “Try And Getit.”

Darlene’s boss had learned a vital, but often overlooked secret of success — doing the small things well is critical.

Too often, students think a particular assignment is inconsequential. One bad grade won’t matter. But the grades add up, and they form more than an average. A habit of accepting mediocrity is developed. The grades and the habit determine reputation. They impact teacher opinion which influences further education and job recommendations. Every raindrop in the river becomes part of the current of one’s life.

The same is true where you work, is it not? Those who get the raises and the new opportunities are people who pay attention to detail and do every small job well. As Dale Carnegie said, “If you do the little jobs well, the big ones tend to take care of themselves.”

Somebody else put it this way: “Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain.”

Carnegie and others learned it from Jesus. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much,” Jesus said (Luke 16:10). Twice in his parable of the talents, Jesus has the master commending the servant who wisely used funds entrusted to him: “You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things” (Matthew 25:21, 23). The reward for managing the small details well is opportunity to manage much more.

That’s still true. What we do in the small details of each day matters. The little things add up. If we lay each brick well, the house we build will be strong and beautiful. Build well today — and enjoy the rewards tomorrow!

 

Keith Wishum is minister, Williams Road Church, Americus.

 

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