Guiding Principle 1: We Are Relentless About the Details

Michelle Benjamin – CEO of Benjamin Enterprises


Details are everything! It is no mistake that I chose to address details as the first guiding principle because I have always been a detail-oriented person. The “big picture” is necessary for knowing where and how you want to go, but unless you pay attention to the details, you may never achieve the goal. This is true in business and in personal life.

I can still hear the beat of the drums and the blasts of the trumpets. These will be forever associated with my first true awakening to the need to pay close attention to details in order to achieve not only an individual competency but a team’s success in a very competitive environment.

When I was in my early teens, I was part of a 150 member Drum and Bugle Corps. This was a regionally recognized Corps, with a record of excellence that placed it in the top 5% of all competitive teams in its class. If you have ever seen a regional competition on television, you have to be in awe of the level of precision each member brings to the overall execution of the team’s routine. Synchronization must be mastered, and again, the details are everything. A team is a complex system, and is only as good as its members’ ability to execute the details flawlessly.

Being a winner means being relentless about practicing and executing the details until they become second nature. It is also about having depth to the team, so that during the execution of the routine, if one member falters, there’s a seamless recovery so that the routine can be completed without damage to the success of the performance.

A vividly remembered example of this was Elaine, a team member who was epileptic. This did not prevent her from becoming a flawlessly executing member of the team, but her disability was recognized and a detailed plan was prepared – and practiced – to accommodate her if she could not perform. During one competition, held in a stadium simmering at 104º’s, she did falter. The support team meshed with the main team, still in its performance, to extract and attend to her. Each team member around her position was trained to adjust to her absence – the hole in the line – to negate the loss.

What was driven home to me in the quest for a flawless performance was that a Corps of 150 individual became one highly synchronized team that could win and win again.

My company is a highly competitive team. When we plan a “routine” for a customer, we map out the process and identify every detail which is required to ensure that the routine is conducted flawlessly, time after time. We train our team members to seamlessly close any gaps in performance so that the end result exceeds what we have promised to deliver to the customer.

Relentless attention to the details has made us the quality workforce solutions leader.