In 2005 an stock trader for the Japanese company Mizuho intended to sell a single share in a newly offered company called J-COM. While preparing for the trade he accidentally inverted the transaction details committed what is referred to as a “fat finger” trade. Instead of arranging the sale of 1 share at a price of ¥600,000 ($5,152), he sold the 600,000 shares at a price of ¥1 ($0.01). This simple error cost Mizuho the equivalent of $370 million dollars! That is a lot of money lost because one person failed to check his work. (Check out these reports for more details on this and other similar costly “fat finger” mistakes: The Guardian, RT, BBC)
The only solution to a “fat finger” error is meticulously checking your work. For a stock trader who makes literally dozens, if not hundreds of trades a day, the process that day must have seemed routine and maybe even monotonous. That trader would have never guessed he would make such a simple and yet egregious error.
One mistake can ruin your reputation. No matter how good you are… check your work if you want to stand out from the crowd.
In Daniel’s life we see a revelatory example of the value of developing the discipline of checking your work. As he was continuously promoted to higher levels of authority and positions of political power, he never stopped checking his work. At various times throughout his career, from conquered captive to the second highest ruler of the empire, Daniel’s work was consistently characterized as without error. We read that “he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him” (Daniel 6:4). This is not to say that he was perfect, however when his political rivals looked for ways to knock him down, they could not find anything. “Then these men said, ‘We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel” (Daniel 6:5).
Daniel didn’t go through life haphazardly, merely hoping it would all workout for the best. He must have constantly checked his work to ensure there were no errors. Do you have a the discipline in your life to check your work and ensure you aren’t committing accidental “fat finger” errors?
If you want to stand out from the crowd you need to consistently check your work.