In 1908, Napoleon Hill was retained by Andrew Carnegie to interview the most famous and successful men at that time, throughout the world. For the next two years, that’s what he did. Those in the U.S. included Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, George Eastman, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Charles M. Schwab, F.W. Woolworth, William Wrigley Jr., and Theodore Roosevelt.
Hill later published the results (“Philosophy of Achievement”) with Carnegie in 1928 as a study course called The Law of Success. It remains in print as one of the most popular books ever written, best known now as Think and Grow Rich (first published in 1937).
After Hill completed his research, he met with Carnegie to provide a report on what he had learned. More specifically, his sponsor wanted to know what all the great business leaders throughout the world shared in common. Hill’s reply? “They all walk the extra mile.”
I have accumulated hundreds of stories about people who not only did that but defined themselves by a worth ethic based on that simple principle. What do they share in common?
1. They don’t wait to asked to take on an unpleasant task. They volunteer.
2. They seize every opportunity to “go the extra mile” (e.g. coming in early, staying late, working holidays and/or weekends when there’s a crisis).
3. They consider it a privilege to help solve problems, especially problems that customers have.
4. They don’t have all the answers but know where to find them.
5. And it should be added, they are invariably ladies and gentlemen with impeccable manners who focus on doing what is right and doing it right.
They could not care less about credit, praise, recognition, etc. In fact, they appreciate it but it makes them somewhat uncomfortable.
Would you like to work with folks like these?
Have them as neighbors?
Have them teach and coach your children?
Represent you in government?
Serve in our military services?