John Wooden, the “Wizard of Westwood” and famed head coach at UCLA, once said: “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” It is the small differences in which performance and personal excellence is measured and achieved. This is the stuff of great leadership.
In reading a recent article, The Temperature of Success, by Philip Humbert, leadership author, I was struck by his simple metaphor about water: “At 211 degrees Fahrenheit, water is not very exciting. But add just one more degree and something amazing happens! At 212 degrees, you get steam and steam moves mountains!” So simple, yet so powerful as great leaders reflect on their lives. It is the small differences that have the greatest impact. Using golf as an example, Humbert writes: “A millionaire professional only makes two or three more putts in a round of golf than some of the golfers at your local club. In putting, small differences are worth millions of dollars per year!”
Passion, commitment and focus drive these small differences. These are the fuels that change the lives of great leaders from “not very exciting” to extraordinary. Bring fire to your life. Boldly choose to add those small differences to everything that you think, say or do. Boil, overflow with excitement by adding that one degree. Remember the words of Vince Lombardi, famed football legend: “The difference between a successful person and others in not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” Choose wisely; choose well and be more than you ever dreamed you could be, and more, so much more. And have fun doing it.