Why attention to detail matters for leaders

Attention to detail is underrated in many companies. Many managers and leaders are not detail oriented. That’s fine. However, if you are one of these leaders or plan to become one, then you’d better have somebody in your team that does care about attention to detail.

Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are areas that people frequently raise as “nit picking” and “not important” to worry about. I disagree. Attention to detail matters.

As a manager or aspiring leader, you need to care about the details. Why? Because it’s your reputation at stake. Do you want people to see you as a leader who doesn’t care about doing things properly?

1. Attention to detail matters, because if you don’t care, why should other people?

If it doesn’t look like you’ve reviewed your document, proposal or presentation before it went out into the world, what are the possible messages that you are sending?

  1. Your disorganised team rushes its work
  2. You think that people will look past the issues with the work and will instead spend time really understanding the core contents
  3. There are many small errors all over your work, but you believe people won’t notice
  4. You are unable to produce a high quality piece of work.

Attention to detail matters because someone who cares more about it will win every time.

2. Attention to detail matters because one error can ruin your credibility

Attention to detail is not all about spelling or grammar. It simply means getting the small things right.

I’ve seen business proposals submitted where the title and name of the potential buyer were both incorrect. I’ve also seen consulting proposals submitted where the final pricing had small errors, resulting in an incorrect total cost.

Many people may look past these issues, but the fact is, it just makes your work look sloppy. If your audience sees omissions or errors in obvious places, then they are likely to have less confidence in your work as a whole.

Attention to detail is the easy part, so get it right

I saw a post on LinkedIn recently where somebody was complaining that people nitpick on minor errors in documents. As any sort of leader, do you really want to waste time with a document that looks like it was prepared by somebody who doesn’t care?

Getting the detail right with calculations, spelling and grammar is the easy part.

The hard work is getting the solution right, doing your research, crafting the right story or selling a dream to the reader.

Attention to detail matters. People who see those small errors throughout your document may just throw your team’s hard work in the bin.

Paying attention to detail doesn’t mean working IN the detail

One last point for managers and leaders to remember is that just because you pay attention to detail, it doesn’t mean you need to spend your time working IN the detail. What I mean by this is that you don’t want to spend your time consumed with small, low-value tasks. Most of the time, you want to leave that to your team.

But, when there is a deliverable to review, you should take care to make sure that the important details are right.

We know that some people just aren’t great with detail. That’s fine. But if you’re somebody who isn’t great with the detail, then get the help of somebody who is. Otherwise you’ll just make yourself, your team and colleagues look like you don’t care or can’t do good work.

Do you think attention to detail is important? Or overrated? Leave a comment below!

By |2018-06-19T06:25:49+00:00September 27th, 2017|Behaviour|


  1. Milo Papakostas December 19, 2017 at 11:48 pm - Reply

    Yeah, thats nice.

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