To win, always go the extra mile

There is nothing that beats always going the extra mile. That should be your mindset in everything you get involved in. A Board Chairman called

There is nothing that beats always going the extra mile. That should be your mindset in everything you get involved in.

A Board Chairman called me saying: “Mustapha, I read your 7 Tools of an effective board member book”, and I found it practical and very relevant.

Thanks to that book, I was appointed a Board Chairman. But I need hands-on support. The previous Chairman had organized an induction training. Unfortunately, the consultant is unable to make it. The bad news is the training is due tomorrow. Is it possible to be with us just to share experiences about board dynamics and the role of the board in strategy and risk management?

Without even thinking about it, I said that is fine with me since the day in question is a public holiday.

As a leader, I learned a long time ago that “you must stay ready.” There is no time to get ready. Otherwise, opportunities will come and go if you must first prepare to grab them.

Are you on WhatsApp? I asked, to which he replied in affirmative.

Ok, I will send you a few questions and requests for information to help understand your organization well. But before I do that, “to say my involvement was successful, what would you want to see after the training?” Oh, that is a great question. I want them to become more committed in their board roles. To read the board papers before the meetings. And to help the executive director in resource mobilization.

Thereafter, I sent a message specifying the required information to help me understand the context, and business dynamics, and brief profiles of the participants. I had a night to be ready for the full one-day training the following day.

And it was fantastic based on the feedback and video testimonial. Although it did not carry any business card, over 80% of the participants send me a WhatsApp message, thanking me for the wonderful, life-changing training and partnership opportunities at their respective places of work. I was elated.

Many consultants and leaders waste money on business cards, which they dish out at will only for the same to be dumped in rubbish bins. If you do not make an impact on the prospect or the other person, they will have zero interest in keeping your card let alone remembering you. People are picky about the kind of people to associate with. You must be able to offer value or something better.

When people see you valuable, they will do all it takes to find your contacts or to get in touch. Valuable things are looked for. I would be concerned if something is so great and easy to find. The more time and effort you put in searching for something of value, the more worthy it becomes.

I hope you get the gist. Remember, you should be strategic in a way that those who truly look for your address or contacts, can find it somewhere on your digital footprint.

You can easily be different and transformational by having a winning mindset of going the extra mile in whatever you do. Whereas other consultants or trainers would have asked for at least five days’ notice period before the training as if they have to first research and prepare for something that they are always involved in, not with me. I am always ready. All I need is some background information about the client to offer customized training that speaks to their business instead of sounding abstract and theoretical. In the end, clients come to us for practical solutions that resonate.

If you want to win in your career, always go the extra mile. And always stay ready. That will surely make a difference as you will get all the opportunities that knock. You will make the competitor irrelevant unless they too are agile and responsive, which is rare.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, Mr. Strategy 2021. All rights reserved.

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