What does it take for an employee to stand out?

Many people have the false impression that if they perform at what is commonly called “110%” they will stand out and be recognized as outstanding performers.

That might work if all of your coworkers are performing in the 50% to 60% range. In that situation, you would certainly be recognized as the top performer.  More likely most of your coworkers are meeting expectations in the 90% to 100% range. Now be realistic: do you think in that situation 110% performance will stand out? It’s not very likely to even be noticed.

That’s why I always tried to do more, much more, than expected. And, that’s what I recommend to you. Do much more than is expected; go the second mile.

The next question is always, “Are you recommending that I do twice as much as expected?”

The answer is, “Yes!”

You may be thinking, I can’t do twice as much. There is no way to produce twice as many widgets; I can’t work twice as many hours.

This is the situation where creativity joins followership. I advocate that you become a Creative Follower. Use your mind. You want your customers, your boss and your coworkers to see you as going far beyond expectation, going the second-mile.

I will tell you a story to illustrate going the second mile.

Many years ago, I made a surprise visit to the Chick-fil-A restaurant in Sikes Senter shopping mall in Wichita Falls, Texas. The restaurant was going through a change of franchisees.

A young man, who had formerly worked for another franchise and wanted a franchise of his own, had accepted the role of the interim manager during the franchisee change-over period. We had high expectations of the young man; I will call him Phil. However, I wanted to see how he performed and possibly give him some coaching.

Shortly after I arrived in the late afternoon, Phil and I were standing in the dining room. A huge young man walked up to the counter and placed his order.

His order caught my attention. “Let me have a large lemonade with the refill to go.” We had recently started offering free refills, but the refill was to be consumed in the dining room. I watched to see what the employee who took the order would do. The employee filled two large cups with lemonade, put them in a bag and charged the customer for one large cup of lemonade.

Obviously, Phil needed some additional coaching from a senior executive from the home office, someone like me, I turned to Phil and said, “I don’t think I would do that.” Phil replied, “Jimmy, I think you would.”

Phil continued. “That young man is a good customer. He works here in the mall, eats with us almost every day, and sends many of his customers here to eat with us. Every afternoon when he leaves work, he stops here for a large lemonade to drink on the bus he rides home.”

He continued, ”When we started offering free refills, he asked us to give him the refill to go. I told him we only offer refills to drink in the dining room.” Then he asked, “If I drink my lemonade standing at the counter will you give me a refill?” “When I said, ‘Yes,’ he stood there, turned the cup up and drank the full cup without stopping and said, ‘Give me my refill,’ as he handed the cup back.” Did I mention that he was a really big guy?

Phil said, “After that, we always give him the refill to go.”

Phil was going the second mile!

Now let me ask you, who was the teacher and who was the learner that day? Even senior executives from the home office often learn from those they are attempting to teach.

Do More Than Expected!

To really stand out when you do more than is expected, go the second mile.

How often do you go into a restaurant today, where the server asks if you would like a refill of your drink to go?

Do you feel like that server went the second mile?

Do I need to keep writing?

I believe you get the point!

Do More Than Expected!

—Jimmy Collins

Want to find out more? Jimmy’s Stories available on Amazon: http://a.co/5wfFRaK