Stanford professor Bob Sutton has a good article about attention to detail and success.
To return to my colleague and friend Jeff Pfeffer, this pattern is consistent with what we discovered as we were writing Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense. Great leaders and firms often "win" by doing mundane things well. Think of Southwest Airline's Chairman and Founder's Herb Kelleher saying "Airplanes don't make any money when they are sitting on the ground." Or of George Zimmer, CEO and Founder of The Men's Wearhouse, building a business model around the notion that most of his customers would rather not actually be in his stores buying suits.
In other words, success comes from doing the work no one wants to do.