Motivational Monday: A Lesson In Going The Extra Mile

Motivational Monday: A Lesson In Going The Extra Mile

By Spencer Hughes

One of the surest ways to speed up and guarantee success in whatever tasks and dreams you follow is to go the extra mile.

Read that again…take your time…


How many people you know do that? How many people won’t even fathom the thought of giving one more dime or second or inch than is absolutely necessary?

Too many of us fall into the rut of stopping where we are supposed to, instead of venturing a little–or gasp, a LOT–further than we are expected to.

But going the extra mile is exactly what true and lasting success requires of us. It’s those extra dollars and minutes and inches that will make the difference between meeting our goals and giving up just shy of them.

Here are two examples of going the extra mile that I have encountered just in the last week.

I have been having cell phone problems beyond anything you can imagine. Missed calls. Phantom calls. No texts. Late texts. Texts bottle necking and coming at me all at once–up to several days worth all in one shot. Missing important calls, both business and personal.

Hours of my life have been wasted in the past month, lost to one technical support phone call after another. And one after the other, technicians were unable or unwilling to solve the problem.

Weren’t they all trained to help people like me? Wasn’t that their job? And yet one after the other seemed rushed and put out that I needed their assistance.

Until last week. A spoke with a technician that stood apart from the rest. She sounded interested in my problem, empathized with my frustration, and was determined to resolve the problem. And you know what?

She did. She accomplished in one phone call what an army of other technicians couldn’t.

It took a lot of time, but not nearly the amount of time I have squandered fruitlessly over the past month, talking to a dozen or so of her co-workers.

She told me she would stay on the line as long as needed. And that if we ran out of time, that she would call me later in the day when it was convenient for me to continue and conclude the call.

What service! What if everyone did this? Imagine if everyone took a few extra minutes to get a job done right?

One more example for you.

I was at a home improvement store over the weekend and needed assistance before making my purchases.

One employee stood out to me. He was one of the more senior in age employees I encountered. But you wouldn’t know that from the bounce in his step and the boundless enthusiasm he demonstrated with me.

He did what employees half his age weren’t doing—actually WALKING me to a product. This is something I admire, since when I worked in retail years ago, I felt I was the only one who did this with customers. All my co-workers took the lazy approach which sounded like this: “Big screen TVs? Oh…they’re way in the back…um…aisle 12. I think. If not, they are on 13 or 14.”

Nice. I can’t tell you how many times I would cringe at my co-workers pointing an outstretched arm vaguely in some miscellaneous corner of the store, not caring if the customer was sent astray or not.

This gentleman went the extra mile…literally and figuratively, as he walked me literally from one end of the warehouse to the other…several times.

No complaints. No huffing and puffing. He did it all with a gentle smile and polite demeanor.

Why couldn’t the young kids on the staff have done that? Laziness. Pure, unadulterated laziness.

He went the extra mile. The woman at the phone company did as well.

The warehouse employee said something I thought was very telling after I apologized to him for walking him all over the place.

He said, “That’s ok. I want to. Plus I will learn where other items are as well that aren’t in my department. Chances are someone else will ask me similar questions and I want to make sure I can answer them.”

Imagine that! Not only was he an expert in HIS department, he was willing to extend beyond his comfort zone and what was expected of him and learn about OTHER departments as well.

Now THAT’S going the extra mile.

Try doing the same today. In everything you do. Give a little more than is asked of you, a little more than you think you have in you.

You will gain the respect of others. And ultimately, you will gain more respect for yourself, too.

And success will be closer than you ever imagined.