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.  This wasn’t 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 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.  Our families must come first in our efforts.

It’s essential to go the extra mile in business

At work, 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 can be revealing. Better than trying to tell them what they need for sure. The effective question  is along the lines of “What would make you believe that you had received the best and most excellent service from me and my team?”

Other than 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.  There are five main reasons why everyone should consider living their lives by going the extra mile.

The Neuroscience of Going the Extra Mile

Delving into the neuroscience of going the extra mile unveils the remarkable orchestration within the brain. When an individual embarks on this journey, their brain springs into action, notably engaging the prefrontal cortex, the region responsible for higher-level thinking and decision-making. This activation ignites a cascade of neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin, generating a sense of motivation and reward.

As one pushes their limits, the brain releases endorphins, often referred to as “feel-good” hormones. This surge induces a sense of euphoria and an overall positive mood. Consequently, individuals who go the extra mile experience a heightened state of mental alertness and clarity. This heightened mental state can lead to a profound sense of accomplishment, further reinforcing the desire to surpass expectations.

Notably, the impact of going the extra mile extends beyond the individual. Witnessing someone’s exceptional effort triggers a fascinating phenomenon in the observer’s brain. Mirror neurons come into play, firing up regions associated with empathy and social bonding. The observer’s brain experiences a mirror effect as if they were undertaking the same extraordinary effort. This results in an emotional contagion, where the observer begins to feel inspired and motivated.

Furthermore, the act of going above and beyond often creates a ripple effect. When one person’s dedication and commitment become visible, it sets a precedent for others. Seeing someone push boundaries can inspire colleagues, leading to a collective rise in productivity and morale. The brain’s social reward system kicks in, strengthening bonds and fostering a collaborative spirit.

In essence, the neuroscience of going the extra mile is a testament to the intricate interplay of motivation, reward, and social connection within the human brain. It not only elevates the individual’s sense of accomplishment and well-being but also inspires and energizes those fortunate enough to witness such exceptional dedication.

Going the Extra Mile

1.  Gives you a sense of purposefulness

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.

2.  Acts as a positive influence

Surprises and delights people, and it’s always good to be a positive influence.  Positive energy is infectious and can brighten and lift all around you.

3. Boosts your energy

Increases your energy. Energy breeds energy and the additional effort it takes to go the extra mile, helps you to increase your energy, output and commitment

4. Attracts positivity energy back to you

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”

5. Sets healthy and challenging standards

Sets a great benchmark for yourself and others to aspire to. Achieving and setting challenging and satisfying standards helps create positive and healthy habits and practices.

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I help leaders develop self- mastery, helping them to become confident in their own inner guidance.

I collaborate with leadership experts, managers and HR professionals to help them get their own message and unique services and products to a wide audience.