Exceed the expectations of others

Are you making an effort to exceed the expectations of your associates and customers, or are you just doing what you have to do to get by?

One tip for outperforming the competition, whether you’re an employee in the workplace or owning your own business, is to exceed the expectations of others. Some call it going further. But regardless of the terminology, it can help make you indispensable.

Remuneration includes not only money, but also joy, harmony with others, a sense of tolerance and all that one seeks worthwhile. People who exceed the expectations of others are a joy to be around. And, for the organizations where they work, they can be the greatest asset. Here are some of my favorite examples:

Make an indelible impression. Several years ago, a young woman who worked in a coffee shop consistently impressed her customers with her work ethic, enthusiasm, memorization of their names, and exceptional service. The president of a large company called an employee recruitment agency that worked for his company. He said, “It doesn’t matter where you put her in our business, but she’s the type of person we need here.” The young woman started working with a significant salary increase a week later.

Anticipate every need. Annie Rummel, PhD, President of the Great Lakes Bay Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, is one of those professionals who consistently exceeds the expectations of others. It’s not uncommon to ask her for something and have her drive up and hand-deliver within 24 hours, when most people would mail it when they get there. Watching her and her staff years ago host 70 champion soccer teams, their coaches and referees from 14 states would have astounded even the best hospitality professionals. They anticipated every need and defused every problem. Many officials said they had never seen such professionalism.

Do his best. A young, inexperienced secretary started working at a large medical center in the Great Lakes Bay area in 1977. It was a time of volatility within the organization and she considered leaving shortly after her arrival. Her father told her to do her best and exceed everyone’s expectations. That’s exactly what she did, often working nights and even weekends. Peggy Lark served as the President’s Executive Assistant for 31 years, then served in the same role for the Medical Center’s next President for the next 8 years. She earned the admiration, appreciation and respect of everyone she worked with.

To give everything. The car dealership where I buy my cars and have them serviced exceeds my expectations. Regardless of what needs to be done to the car, even if it’s fair and the oil change is under warranty, they wash the car, vacuum the interior, and arm all the tires.

Win me. Bone Daddy’s, my favorite BBQ place, exceeds my expectations by giving me free samples with some frequency. Several times they dropped a free apple cobbler bread in my bag when I ordered takeout. The fact that it is the best apple cobbler I have ever eaten is not as important as their generosity in going the extra mile to please me. They won me for life.

As self-help author Napoleon Hill states in his classic bestseller Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement: “The people who need your work have things to offer you. You’re probably not the only person who can provide what they need. What will set you apart from the crowd? The attention you generate by doing more than you are paid for.

Terence Moore, former president of MidMichigan Health and author of Lessons in Leadership and Career Survival, 3rd Edition, is the author of this column as part of a monthly series focusing on survival and career advancement for the Midland Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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