A few weeks ago, a friend shared this story and it has become one of my favorite coaching stories because of the powerful analogy of what it truly means to be extraordinary.
To be extra-ordinary requires going above and beyond. It means going beyond wishing and dreaming to actualizing the dreams (action). The research does show that some key differences between extraordinary and ordinary include the ability to conceptualize deeper, act, focus, and follow through.
Read this story slowly and carefully…
“James and Thomas joined a company together a few months after their graduation from college.
After a few years of work, James was promoted to a position of Senior Sales Manager, but Thomas remained in his entry-level Junior Sales Officer position. Thomas developed a sense of jealousy and disgruntlement but continued working anyway.
One day, Thomas felt that he could not work with James anymore and wrote his resignation letter, but before he submitted it to his Director, he verbally complained that Management and his Leadership Team did not value hard working staff, but only promoted a select group of favored individuals!
The Director knew that Thomas was a hard worker and has been diligent for the years he had spent at the company and felt that he worked even harder than James and therefore he deserved the promotion. So in order to help Thomas to realize this, the Manager gave Thomas a task.
“Go and find out if anyone is selling watermelons in town?”
Thomas returned and said, “yes there is someone!”
The Manager asked, “how much per kg?” Thomas drove back to town to ask and then returned to inform the Manager; “they are $13.50 per kg!”
The Manager told Thomas, “I will give James the same task that I gave you. Please pay close attention to his response!”
So the Manager said to James, in the presence of Thomas; “Go and find out if anyone is selling watermelons in town?”
James went to find out and on his return he said:
“There is only one person selling watermelons in the whole town. The cost is $49.00 per watermelon and $32.50 for a half melon. He sells them at $13.50 per kg when sliced. He has in his stock 93 melons, each one weighing about 7 kg. He has a farm and can supply us with melons for the next 4 months at a rate of 102 melons per day at $27.00 per melon; this includes delivery.
The melons appear fresh and red with good quality, and they taste better than the ones we sold last year. He has his own slicing machine and is willing to slice for us free of charge.
We need to strike a deal with him before noon tomorrow to be sure of beating last year’s profits (melons only) by $50,000.00. This deal will contribute positively to our overall performance as it will add a minimum of 3.78% to our current overall sales target. I can quickly collate this information for your review in fifteen minutes.”
Thomas was very impressed and realized the difference between himself and James. He decided not to resign but to learn from James.”
Moral of the story —
As a leader, I have observed that the extra mile for all that is worth is sparsely populated, wide open and never crowded for many reasons but perhaps the most important one is because very few people are willing to go there.
James went over and beyond the call of duty! He knew not only what was needed but also addressed what could be and might be needed.
Sadly, many people wish and do not commit to the process of being extraordinary.
- You won’t be rewarded for doing what you’re meant to do, you only get a salary for that!
- You’re only rewarded for going an extra mile; performing beyond expectations
- Apply these success ingredients to your life, career, business, vocation, and endeavors — Be vigilant, observant, proactive, willing to do more, think more, ask questions, develop a more holistic perspective and go beyond the call of duty.
I am confident of your continued drive towards success.
See you on the extra mile…
PS: Author Unknown but Acknowledged.