“Today, and every day, deliver more than you are getting paid to do. The victory of success will be half won when you learn the secret of putting out more than is expected in all that you do. Make yourself so valuable in your work that eventually you will become indispensable. Exercise your privilege to go the extra mile, and enjoy all the rewards you receive. You deserve them!” Og Mandino
Napoleon Hill said it, W. Clement Stone said it, even Dale Carnegie had mentioned it. GO the Extra Mile. A lot of the most successful people in the history of human civilization have stood by the fact that part of success is going the extra mile. Do more than you are paid to do. Do something for someone beyond what they expect and the law of reciprocity is sure to make it that you are repaid ten fold.
Then why do we fail to see this occur in our daily lives? From cashiers at the grocery store to car dealerships people have stopped going the extra mile. To some, more so "new aged" tweens and party animal young adults, going the extra mile probably doesn't mean much. We want it and want it now without thought or concern on quality or kindness. Tweens and Party animal adults still finding a place in this world where maybe they might feel important hardly look to the people who go the extra mile and show gratitude to them. Is it their fault? Maybe it's parents or the fact school doesn't teach the most important things in life. Whatever the case is, I feel people have stopped going the extra mile and it's a shame, because most of us notice and appreciate it when it occurs.
The whole concept for this blog post came about this afternoon when I left work and went to pick my wife's car up from the dealership where she bought her car. I had just spent four hundred and fifty dollars on a few minor parts and labor for her vehicle. After I paid the dealership with a smile on my face I walked outside and stood in front of her car. Running down the passenger window behind the driver seat was a huge stream of bird shit. I walked around the front of the car and noticed the bugs smashed against the bumper from my wife's constant trips to work on the highway, I was shocked they were still there. I continued around the car and held my finger on the paint as I walked around back to the driver's side. Looking down at my finger I was amazed at the dirt on my finger and questioned why it was still there. Does this dealership not wash a vehicle after it was serviced? Is it a fact of cost or time? Whatever the case is, do you think I'll ever go back?
If you haven't yet read my last blog post, My Visit to The Doctor I spent 2 hours on Friday sitting in the waiting room of a doctor's office I never been to before. As a new patient I was treated like an alien. I sat there for 2 hours watching multiple members of the staff walk by on the minute without even a smile. This office did not go the extra mile to make sure everything was ok and I was good to go. Will I ever go back?
Perhaps these two occasions happened to me for a reason, actually, I know they were meant to happen. The two events, days apart, taught me the biggest business lesson of my life so far. Even if it was something, going the extra mile, that I consciously already knew from my studies of successful people in American history, it is now ingrained into my subconscious and forever thankful I am. What if this happened to a client of mine and lost forever was a portion of my income? I could not afford or even ever allow something like that to happen.
Both of these businesses failed to go the Extra Mile and taught me a valuable lesson. I will never go back to either of them and even though I am appalled I won't spread negative comments on Yelp or Yahoo!. Let people learn these lessons on their own. I will however always notice when someone goes the extra mile and I will personally thank them.
Who goes the extra mile?
JEEP does. Not the dealership I bought my Wrangler at but JEEP. Jeep/Chrysler Group went the extra mile after I purchased my 2012 Wrangler Unlimited. The next day we received a personal phone call from Jeep as they thanked us for our purchase. The dealer? Nothing. Just a service reminder. Also the dealer still owes me a second key and I NEVER heard from them. Did they go the extra mile? Will I ever buy another Jeep there?
Kohl's did. After my wife spent our life savings one Christmas not to far past on gifts for everyone and their mother we received a personalized letter from the CEO thanking us for our purchase. Was it mass produced? Yes. BUT it was personalized in my wife's name and signed by the CEO. We go back... often.
There is a big lesson in life happening everyday and every second our eyes are open. If you have a business and you fail to go the extra mile you are making a big mistake that can cost you a lot of money. Even if you are just an employee and you do not go further than you are expected to, you fail at seeing the big picture and becoming more. Napoleon Hill once said "This is the one rule you must follow if you expect to write your own price tag and be sure of getting it." The grandson of President John Adams, Charles Francis Adams was quoted as saying "No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him; it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required, that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction.""
Notice when someone goes a step further for you and thank them. Notice when a business or person doesn't and learn from their mistakes. Care for the principle or not, the choice is yours. Will it serve you well if you do indeed follow it? I'm sure it will. Remember, as Og Mandino once said, it is a privilege.