Going the extra mile
Creating a vision underpinned by customer focused outcomes in a working environment sets the tone as to how your customers will feel about you and your service. It is essential to set stretching and challenging objectives. These should not simply meet customer expectations. Your customer outcomes must always go the extra mile.
As I matured as a leader I began to realise the jewels in my crown were my team Without them, I simply wasn’t able to achieve what I set out to do. I also realised that I needed to go the extra mile for them. Although this wasn’t usually about financial reward. Sometimes the ways I wanted to reward and motivate them weren’t always in my power. What I could do, which was infinitely more powerful was to encourage and engage them. I could help them as much as I could to help them do their job really well. More than that I could encourage them to go the extra mile.
Making an effort for your family should come first
I would like to put my hands up and say I have always gone the extra mile for my family. My children and my siblings might not agree. I would concur, it hasn’t always been the case. Don’t get me wrong, we are a tight-knit family and care about each other a lot. I do go the extra mile for birthdays, Christmas and holidays. Family occasions feature highly. But do I go the extra mile all of the time? Probably not, but I am working on it. (Don’t we so often take our nearest and most loved people for granted?)
It’s essential to go the extra mile in business
In my business, I am determined to go the extra mile for my connections, customers and clients. Sometimes it can be a challenge to find out what makes people feel that they have received a brilliant service. Years ago, one of my stock answers would be to of course “Ask them”. That’s a good tactic, although we can get stuck in asking the wrong questions.
So, for example, asking what people want as an outcome is good: Better than trying to tell them what they need for sure. The really effective question though is along the lines of “What would make you believe that you had received the best and most excellent service from my company?”
Short of asking people, the next strategy is to observe. Try different things and see what delights people. Gauge reaction and be innovative. Just seeing how people respond is valuable information.
I believe adopting the philosophy of going the extra mile is a great way of living, and there are five main reasons why everyone should consider living their lives by going the extra mile.
Going the Extra Mile:
- Makes you think hard about your contribution and the difference you are making. Our world is a matrix of giving and receiving. By going the extra mile you are bringing a sense of purposefulness into sharp focus.
- Surprises and delights people, and it’s always good to be a positive influence
- Increases your own energy. Energy breeds energy and the additional effort it takes to go the extra mile, helps you to increase your energy, output and commitment
- Attracts great energy back to you. What you give out, you get back. It was Newton who said “for every action, there is always an equal and opposite reaction”
- Sets a great benchmark for yourself and others to aspire to.