Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

The Little Things Make a Big Difference

It’s the little things that make a big difference.

Ben Franklin put it this way: “It’s a small leak that can sink a great ship.”

“Inches make champions,” said Vince Lombardi.

Legendary UCLA basketball coach is famous for his attention to the little things. He began the first practice every year with a Very Little Thing: how to tie your shoes. (For the complete story, read this.)

Effective leaders do the little things that add up to big results. Here’s five little things you can be doing every day:

  1. Make contact with every member of your staff. In person, if you can. By phone, if you can’t. Email at a minimum if they’re somewhere out on the road and can’t be reached. It doesn’t always have to be about business. Just start the conversation with, “Just checking in. How’s things?”
  2. Keep a running list of the stuff that’s small stuff you tend to put off because, well, it’s small stuff. Two or three times a day, pull up the list and do one or two of the tasks. Cross them off the list (it feels good!) and move on.
  3. Look for an opportunity to catch someone doing something right. Maybe it’s someone on your staff, but it could easily be a client, a colleague, or just a friend. Acknowledge what they’ve done and show some appreciation. I read somewhere that the typical person gets 16 pieces of negative feedback for every positive. Change that ratio.
  4. Read something that inspires you, challenges you, or deepens  your understanding of your world. It’s been calculated that a person who spends 15 minutes a day could read 2,400 pages in a year year. Don’t want to carry around books? Get an ereader or upload an app to your smart phone. You can read 15 minutes a day just standing in lines!
  5. Clean up a mess. There’s always a mess that needs attention. Your desk, your computer, your project, whatever! One of the most important – your relationships with others. Messed something up with someone? Do something about it today.

Take care of the little things, and the big things will take care of themselves, or so it’s been said. Consider what Swiss philosopher Henri Frederic Amiel thought about little things:

What we call little things are merely the causes of great things; they are the beginning, the embryo, and it is the point of departure which, generally speaking, decides the whole future of an existence. One single black speck may be the beginning of a gangrene, of a storm, of a revolution.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is the sequel to the very popular “What Your Boss Never Told You.” Packed inside are more tips, techniques, and insights about the challenging, but rewarding leadership position.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is written in a conversational tone, as though you and the author were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about the issues that emerge for new leaders. It stands alone, and/or could be read before or after the first volume, “What Your Boss Never Told You.” You can start with any chapter and read in any order you like.

if you search for a book on management, you’ll find a staggering 600,000+ books currently available. How can you narrow that down? “What Your Boss Never Told You” is the best place to start.

No textbook here – this book is short and sweet. It’s designed to help you “unpack” your new job and be effective from the first day with your new team. It contains twenty-one chapters filled with the wisdom Winters has gathered from real managers – effective, successful leaders in organizations much like yours.

Leaders make decisions every day – big and small. Most know that if they include others in the decision-making process, the quality of those decisions – and the commitment to them – will likely improve. That said, they also know it’s impractical, if not impossible, to include others in every decision they confront.

“To Do or Not To Do” tackles the question of when to make decisions on your own, and when to involve your team. It gives you a deceptively simple but proven method to determine, when you are facing a difficult decision, how to decide how to decide.

Far too many meetings are dreadful, mind-numbing, energy-draining, productivity-sapping, colossal wastes of time. As someone once said, “To kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon.”

Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to learn and apply the techniques in “So, How Was Your Meeting?”, you’ll call fewer meetings, while vastly improving the ones you do lead. They’ll take less time, have more balanced participation, produce better decisions, and result in concrete action items for follow-up afterwards.

While there are thousands of books written for people about to retire, this may be the only book for people who manage soon-to-retire employees. Written in a casual, conversational style, “Managing the Soon To Retire Employee” will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

You can be successful with Sooners. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’ve learned right away.

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward. When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of ground rules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future. 

Have you been approached by management with an offer to promote you to supervision? Or, are you mulling over the possibility for the future? Find yourself not sure whether to accept the promotion?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Help! They Want to Make ME a Supervisor will help you sort out a very big question: Should you accept the offer to become a supervisor? Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision for you and for your organization.