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Success Lies in the Details

Don Shula, coach of the Miami Dolphins, was talking to a reporter about a player’s mistake in practice. He said, “We never let an error go unchallenged. Uncorrected errors multiply.”

Then the reporter said, “Isn’t there benefit in overlooking one small flaw?”

Shula said, “What is a small flaw?” I think about that all day long. What is a small flaw? I see that with my children. I’ve let a lot of things slide by because I was too tired. I didn’t want another confrontation. But uncorrected errors do multiply. You’ve got to face them some day. You might as well face them on the spot. If I could do it over again with my children, I’d face the errors on the spot. It’s easier on them and on you. That works in relationships with anyone. If there’s something under the surface, something you sense, you might as well just bring it right out. Face it right then. Success lies in the details. Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.

Marabel Morgan in Homemade, Feb. 1987