What does it take to go that extra mile and go beyond the call of duty? Is it courage or a hell-bent motivation to succeed in spite of the odds stacked against you or maybe a combination of both?
It certainly is an act of bravery, all too often recognised posthumously. There are plenty of dead heroes. If the ultimate price is paid in blood, the deposit itself is a sacrifice upon the altar of service.
We all know this applies to wartime in the face of an enemy but how does this relate to us when the guns aren’t firing? Lest we forget….
The greatest honour we can bestow on those gallant legends is to use that quality to improve the lives of those around us, for they laid down theirs to protect our freedom to do so.
The simplest metric in peacetime is the success of business in meeting their customers needs and offering service above and beyond their competition. The standout companies know this and continually improve their product or service before somebody else does.
Success comes as no accident and always overtakes failure along the way. To quote Michelangelo “The greatest danger we face is not to aim too high and miss the target; it is to aim too low and reach it”.
Mediocrity is the comfort zone of the average person and the saying “It’s lonely at the top” is testimony to the few that make it there. To ‘rest on one’s laurels’ is akin to giving up the fight and allowing competitors to take the trophy.
When asked for his secret of success Richard Branson replied ‘surround yourself with people smarter than yourself to do the work’. It will often be necessary to swallow pride in the quest for victory.
We cannot escape our mortality and to make our mark in history or leave behind a legacy is more than having a street named in our honour. To know that life has become even a little bit better for our fellows is reward in itself and a beacon for others to follow.
Those who succeed do so as a result of being prepared to do the things that aren’t done by those who fail. There are two queues in life, one for those who are prepared to do the work and the other for those that wish to take the credit.
Join the first queue, it’s a lot shorter.