I hate traffic jams. When I lived in Charlottesville, there was a stop light at Cherry Street between my home and office. If the light was green, I could make it home in 10 minutes. If I caught the red light, it would take me 12 minutes. I can remember being so frustrated at the delay. Then I moved back to Northern Virginia, and longed for the day of only a two-minute delay in traffic for a twelve-minute commute. So even though I have adjusted my expectations of driving in the DC area, I still don’t like traffic, and will drive miles out of the way on lesser used roads to avoid it.
Several years ago, I heard Roger Staubach speak on the topic of professionalism and leadership, and he gave his own take on the adage that there are no traffic jams on the “extra mile”. Many people know of Roger Staubach as a Heisman Trophy winner at the Naval Academy, because of his military service, or his Hall of Fame accomplishments with the Dallas Cowboys. Not as many people are aware of how successful he was as a business leader through the Staubach Company, and now at Jones Lang LaSalle. When he mentioned this adage to open his discussion, he immediately caught my attention because of my dislike of traffic, but his main point was more emphatic. How many often are we frustrated with not receiving “regular” or “good” service? It is even bigger frustration when we call attention to a problem with a supervisor or manager, and still don’t get a satisfactory resolution. Much like the road system in Northern Virginia, our lives are “clogged” with mediocre or indifferent interaction.
So how refreshing is it to be served by someone who is going the “Extra Mile”? I really appreciate excellent service, whether it is in a restaurant, at my doctor’s office, or in the general public. It is so nice to find people who clearly love what they do, are good at it, and who take pride and pleasure in performing at a higher than expected or required level. I feel blessed in my current role, because I spend most of my time traveling on the “Extra Mile”. I am blessed by my colleagues both within AOG and throughout our broader industry who are not satisfied with “regular” or “just fine”. They expect more from themselves, and their participation in a collective effort to offer quality investments and professional services. Our clients generally are very kind, but also expect expert service and advice with near flawless delivery. Many of our clients have significant accomplishments in their professional life, and that has financially rewarded them by becoming self-made multi-millionaires. I love travelling on the “extra mile”, and it is especially enjoyable to serve clients who also spend their time there, and to work with colleagues who equally committed to that pathway.
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