[August 20, 2014] Mel and Tim were an American soul music duo and one of my favorite singing groups back in my early college years – the 1970s. They were best known for the song “Backfield in Motion” but they sang another song that I listened to and most people have heard. Mel and Tim sang “It’s the Little Things that Count.” Senior leaders are most adept at employing the philosophy that small things matter in the lives of others. They remember the little things people say and will ask them about it later to show that they care.
I had the honor of knowing many senior leaders in the military and business. It always amazed me at what they could remember about me; like where I went to college, my girlfriend’s name (now married), and other items. One day while I was just a Captain, I asked one of them where they got that information about me. Their answer was something that I put into my kit bag of leadership from that point on. I was told it was simple, I had mentioned it to them and they made a point to remember it. As long as you pay attention people tell you many things.
Senior leaders will ask about your family and how you are doing. They do care because a person who is a happy worker is more productive and will not cause undue trouble. Now, I make it a point to listen closely to what people tell me. A colleague of mine had attended a well-known university with one of the best women’s basketball teams. She had told me years before she had been on the team. While we were deployed in combat to Iraq, I ordered the university’s emblem on a coffee mug and presented it to her in front of her section crew. She thought I was the greatest from that point on. But it was simple; I remembered what she told me and gave her something that made a difference.
Mel and Tim are no longer singing but they made a difference for me and I’m happy to have been a fan.
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