For years we have all heard about “the extra mile.” I have used it often as a motivational reference, especially when mentoring younger talent. Given the choppy waters that we’re all currently enjoying, never has the phrase “going the extra mile” been more relevant.
Whether it’s hours worked, extending breadth of services, maximizing efficiency through the use of technology, or broadening personal and professional relationships—or all of the above—the extra effort should be a standard. Yet over the years, it has become increasingly apparent that the “extra mile” is an uncrowded stretch of roadway.
The causes are … debatable. Perhaps it is a change in work ethics, or maybe the life balance pendulum now swings too far in the other direction. Some argue that it is simply a generation difference, to which I disagree. Whatever the reason, I think the mantra “work smarter” has resulted in less importance being placed on “working harder.”
As society continues to face challenging times brought on by an unsettled political climate, internal and global economic conditions, and severe case of marginal job growth, we will all need to pursue new and different ways to achieve success. We will rely on teaming, as the days of the lone ranger producer are all but over. We will place even more emphasis on erasing mediocrity from the workforce. And yes, we will continue to squeeze improved levels of productivity from modern-day technology.
But let’s not forget: Going the extra mile will continue to be a huge differentiator and formula for success at both the corporate and personal levels.
Jack Eimer is Central region president of Transwestern. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.