An important principle of success in all walks of life and in all occupations is a willingness to ” Go The Extra Mile “; which means the rendering of more and better service than that for which one is paid, and giving it in a positive mental attitude. Search wherever you will for a single sound argument against this principle and you will not find it, nor will you find a single instance of enduring success, which was not attained in part by its application.
We would love to share a story with you and we hope you will in some small way benefit from this story…
Sometime last year, I was working as a barber somewhere on the Island. It was a hectic Friday and at 5:55 pm (5 minutes before closing), this man walked in.
I told him that we already closed (shame on me). He said that he had to fly out that evening for a meeting tomorrow morning in Abuja, and he needed his hair done (his hair was a whole lot of mess), and our shop was the only place that was still opened. My colleagues were already “cutting eye for me” from the back, they all wanted to go home. I said with a smile, “I will do it”, then I asked my colleagues to go home and told them I would close the shop by myself later.
After greeting the customer and figuring out what he wanted for his hair; I started working my magic. Then, he started to fall asleep on my chair. So I told him: “Sir, if you fall asleep on my chair, you would love your hair when you wake up (I was being sarcastic)”.
Him (smile): Sorry about that.
Me: I hope you get paid enough to work that hard (he looked like he could use some rest).
Him: Oh! it is just a crazy time at work right now. Companies are laying off a lot of people.
Me: I hope you don’t work in the finance industry, I hear they are downsizing.
He stared at me and said: I do work in finance, and yes, the industry is downsizing.
Me: Oh my! I graduated with a finance degree a couple of months ago but can’t find a job yet. Everywhere I go, they say they are not recruiting.
Then we talked about the economy and finance while I was making his hair. He then asked me, “Do you have any work experience in finance?”
Me: I am a CFA level 2 candidate now, sitting for the June exam. Real experience wise, I don’t have much. While I was in school, I taught extra finance classes for my classmates and those in lower levels, especially those struggling with the course just to raise some little cash. Does that count?
Him: CFA level 2? How?
Me: I passed the level 1 exam in December while I was in school and I am doing level 2 now.
Him: While working fulltime the entire time?
Him: How is your Excel?
Me: Not a guru yet but comfortable enough to learn what I don’t know pretty fast.
Him: Do you know anything about Performance Analysts?
Me: Umhmmm, yeah. Let’s say, here is the philosophy: “We need to know where we have been, in order to figure out where we will go”. The performance analyst takes care of the first part of that philosophy.
Then, we talked a bit more about my school and things going on in the economy. After which he gave me a #1000 tip for his hair service.
After that, l locked the door and started to close the register then I heard a knock on the door and I thought “Oh my! Is he coming back for a redo? Did I make a mess of his hair?”
I opened the door and he gave me his business card, then said: “You are hired! Send me your resume”.
That customer was an MD in one of the three largest banks in Nigeria. I sent him my resume and was later contacted by HR for a job interview.
I called him to thank him for the opportunity. He told me that he was impressed by my hard work, and he decided to “interview” me while I was making his hair (I did not even pay attention).
Are you willing to go the extra mile? We would love to hear your perspective. Please share your comments below.
The Biempowerment Team