How big of an impact can one thing make?

I remember my grandmother quoting the poem “For the Want of a Nail…” to me as a child. Her message to me – all things great and small can have tremendous impact on the success or failure of what we are trying to achieve”

For want of a nail,

V-Trak Nails 5 Citythe shoe was lost.

For want of the shoe,

the horse was lost.

For want of the horse,

the rider was lost.

For want of the rider,

the battle was lost.

For want of the battle,

the kingdom was lost.

And all for the want of a horseshoe nail!”

 

Anonymous

Grandma looked at life as a series of chapters, each full of choices, opportunities, goals and challenges. When one chapter ended, another commenced. You might not have control of all the twists and turns of the plot, but you could make a huge impact on how the story turned out.

So, why write an article about business – and that’s what this is – with old proverbs and messages learned at Grandma’s knee? Because we often make business and business decisions much more complicated than they need to be!

Many of the lessons we learned early on in our lives – when things were simple – can have a significant impact on business success. Simple lessons like –

  • Look both ways…
  • Listen to your teacher
  • Look out for your brother
  • Don’t cry over spilt milk
  • You’ never know until you try
  • If you fall down – get up
  • You’ll never finish if you don’t get started.

Our lives and our businesses are made of a continuous series of little things – some that may seem important at the time but have little impact in the grand scheme and others that seem insignificant but can have a long and lasting affect. The trouble is that we lack perfect intuition or the crystal ball to determine what the important things are right now.

There may be some pretty big questions that you are be facing in your life or business in today’s economy.  It pays to keep in mind that the simplest answers are often the right ones and, as in the case of the nail, one small thing can make a big difference. 

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

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5 Responses to How big of an impact can one thing make?

  1. How big of an impact can one thing make?…

    I remember my grandmother quoting the poem “For the Want of a Nail…” to me as a child. Her message to me – all things great and small can have tremendous impact on the success or failure of what……

  2. Matt says:

    Good stuff. Really enjoyed the poem and the post is on target.

  3. […] How big of an impact can one thing make? « Joan Koerber-Walker’s Blog koerberwalker.wordpress.com/2009/08/21/ – view page – cached #RSS 2.0 Joan Koerber-Walker's Blog » How big of an impact can one thing make? Comments Feed Joan Koerber-Walker's Blog Change is what we make it. — From the page […]

  4. Thanks for the post.
    In addition to the importance of small things, the poem underscores the importance of a back up plan. It’s hard for a leader to attend to every detail. The big picture requires delegating. And not every item functions up to specifications. I had a timing belt that broke on a car 2000 miles before the scheduled service for replacing the timing belt. Engine trauma resulted despite up to date maintenance.

    So, it you’re in a mission critical battle, have a back up horse. It’s worth the capital investment.

    All the best,
    Michael

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