“Because I know it’s There”

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Chris Tarr

By: Chris Tarr, CSRE, DRB, CBNE

There’s a Steve Jobs story that gets passed around quite a bit. It goes back to the days when the Steves (Jobs and Woz) were designing one of the early Apple computers. Steve Jobs kept changing the arrangement of the chips on the motherboard because they didn’t look appealing to him. When asked why he cared so much for something that nobody would ever see, Steve said “Because I know it’s there.”

There is absolutely something to be said for that level of attention to detail. It shows that you don’t want to just get something done, instead you want to get something done right.

In fact, that kind of thinking can extend to relationships as well. Sure, you can ask how a project is going, or you can actually engage and deep-dive into what’s going on in an effort to truly understand how a project is coming along.

In my professional life, I “live that quote.”  I operate several unmanned broadcast sites that most people will never see. Yet, they’re clean, well built and well maintained. Why? Because I know they’re there. When I build relationships with my team, I try to truly understand what their challenges are, because I want to really know what’s there. Even when it comes to my supervisors, I want to understand what their goals are, for the same reasons. It’s only by approaching everything with a high attention to detail that we truly understand what it is we’re dealing with.

Yes, some of that detail is superfluous. Some of that detail won’t move the needle in the grand scheme of things. However, I don’t think those Apple computers would have sold as well had Steve not cared about the layout of the chips. Why? Because that would have meant that he probably didn’t pay attention to the many other “little things” that made the entire experience of owning one of those computers great.

It’s not about the one little thing. It’s about the entire collection of little things as a whole.

Little things make a big difference.

Chris Tarr, CSRE, DRB, CBNE is the Director of Technical Operations for Entercom’s Wisconsin stations. He is one of the industry’s biggest evangelists and dedicates himself to helping create great radio.

Reprinted with permission of the author.  

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