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Lesson for success #01: Pay Attention to Detail

In secondary school, one of our mentors, an elderly man in the ‘Brothers of Christian Instruction’ congregation used to say two slogans to us every time he met us:

  • “Neglect Nothing”
  • “Mind the Minutest”

Young people seem to lack detail. They gloss over things. They are not cerebral.

Reports are shallow and lack the meat – the sort of detail that creates winning submissions. The grammar and formatting are pathetic. Descriptions are ‘elephantine’ (like six blind-folded people touching and describing an elephant).

For example, what are: “Man Cure,” “Pad Cure,” “Dread Rocking,” etc., as advertised?

In organizing an event, they take simple but pivotal things for granted, in the end causing un-warranted failures that are so basic.

You cannot expect someone to keep checking on small things to see if ‘anyone’ thought of them – including ‘closing your freaking window to prevent rain from ruining the office when you are away at night’.

Most of us are not very bright but we use preparation, detail, research, and organization to appear so. Attention to detail also involves openness to seeing the learning cues laid by your mentor.


With his permission, we are serialising and publishing on our CPAR Uganda Ltd website and social media platforms these lessons for success that were first shared by Dr. Roy William Mayega, on Friday, 2nd October 2020, on his Facebook wall. He accompanied them with the following explanatory introduction:

“I have been working with relatively young people (below 40 years of age) and in my interactions with them, I have found 10 skills that prevent many of them from becoming a beacon of professionalism. Skills not formally taught in school yet so vital. Skills that would transform a young professional into a ‘hot cake’ for inclusion in successful enterprises… As for those of us 40 years and above, I have no advice. Our kind is already irredeemably hardwired in our stupidities.”

Dr. Roy William Mayega, a Lecturer in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the School of Public Health, Makerere University Kampala.

Click here to read Lessons for Success #02: Systems Thinking

9 responses to “Lesson for success #01: Pay Attention to Detail”

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