There is no such thing as giving 110 percent. There, I said it, and I believe it.
Let me explain what is meant when someone says that he is giving 110 percent. You see, most people operate and hover at around 60 percent-70 percent of effort. So when this very hard working individual ramps it up to 110 percent, he is now hovering between 66 percent and 77 percent. He is still slacking off at least 34 percent of the time!
Now smooth your feathers. If it doesn’t apply to you, just turn the page. Ok, he has moved onto the next page now so the rest of us can continue.
So what is this all about? This is all leading to a discussion on taking an extra step. I have always lived by the mantra, “When you think you’re done, take an extra step.” This has been a driving force in all I do. Often it has caused a great deal of stress and distress. However, it is my attempt at achieving excellence.
We all have our own, personal concept of what it means to be “done” – when the project is complete. Sometimes we can measure the finished product against some objective or goal. Whatever we are working on, whether it is physical, mental or both, we just “know” when we are “Done”.
What does it mean to take the extra step? Once we have achieved “Done.” I suggest that you reexamine the reason why you did what you did and ask some questions. Were your initial assumptions correct, or is there new information that requires attention? Is the reason still valid? Are the objectives still valid or should they have been changed along the way?
Re-look at the process. Did you use the appropriate tools to accomplish the task? Did you use and analyze all the appropriate data? Were the appropriate individuals involved in all the processes?
Re-look at the outcome? Did you arrive at the best answer, the best solution? Are there any holes left unfilled? Are there any questions left unanswered?
You get the picture, right? Now you are wondering why I’m suggesting that you perform these steps after the project. Doesn’t it make more sense to perform these prior to the project? The answer is that these steps should be an ongoing process so that changes can be made on the fly. In this way, you can be as close to the final “Done” as possible. You then will have achieved the GOOD.
Now, to achieve the great, perform the extra step of taking another look at you reasons and objectives, the process and the final product. Ensure that you go from Good to Great – When You Think You Are Done, Take An Extra Step.
For homework: Sequentially assign a number to the letters of the alphabet; A=1, B=2. etc. Now total the numbers for the following words: Hard Work, Knowledge, Attitude, Bull…, A.. Kissing. See what happens after 100 percent?
Note: No extra steps were taken in the writing of this article, including actually performing the above exercise.