I have heard expressed that “God is in the details” as well as “The devil is in the details.” Which phrase you choose depends on whether you are describing the role of the details in achieving great success or causing utter failure.
Rather than attributing heaven or hell-like powers to the details, let’s recognize that you can get the big stuff right and be derailed by inattention to the details. The details are vexing; they can be crazy-makers. They are the bane of the big-picture thinker and the strong suit of the operational genius.
We can all benefit from a closer attention paid to the details of everyday life, whether that means not talking or texting on our PDAs while we drive or executing an important project.
If you’re a big-picture thinker you need either develop the complementary skill set of attention to detail or be in a position to hire someone to handle the details for you.
And if you’re great on the details, don’t lose track of the bigger picture.