That little extra..

“Heroes have a rough time because they stand up when they ought not to, they speak when they ought not to; they always have to go that extra mile.” George Foreman

A little extra can make all the difference. In a game of soccer it can mean scoring or not scoring a goal. In business, closing a deal or losing. In a relationship it can mean the difference between an average relationship or a great one.

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the little extra you put in.

When I was in Tajikistan interviewing the top 25 of 700 employees, the janitor asked the CEO if she could see me for a few minutes, as well. The CEO hesitantly asked me, and I said yes. The janitor told me that she was the first person to come into the office in the morning and the last one to leave. She ensured all the offices were clean so the senior staff had the optimal environment to work in. She explained that she had three young children who many times had to go without lunch because she put work first. She begged us not to close the plant down because she relied on this work to sustain her family. Her husband had left her for a younger woman in Russia and provided nothing for the children. Her story had me all ears and in tears. She was gutsy, different and managed to get my undivided attention ahead of the 675 other employees who were higher in rank.

Later, I was travelling to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, after I had completed two days of presentations and consultations in Khorog, Tajikistan. En route, the Tajik driver stopped where an eight-year-old girl was selling apples in a bucket. He decided to drive by the first stand and stop beside another person selling apples. The little girl walked 50 yards farther and stood beside the Tajik driver with an expression that said “What is wrong with my apples?” The driver ignored the girl and continued his transaction with the other vendor. The girl stood her ground with a smile on her face. Before we left that spot, the driver had bought the girl’s apples as well. Why? It was because of the little extra the eight-year-old girl put in by walking those 50 yards and believing in the quality of her apples. Her conviction and persistence paid off.

Nonconforming courage to create something out of nothing despite all odds is sometimes required. A little chutzpah!

Why do most people not take that extra step? Maybe they do not realize the power that the extra step can have. We work so hard to get success and happiness, but we sometimes fail to take that little extra step to get there.

Make a habit of doing a little extra—whether in exercising, planning, providing service or showing integrity.

(Adapted from the book, ‘Business, Balance & Beyond’ by Azim Jamal.)

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