By Shep Hyken
Not long ago, I wrote an article and created a video on Doing More Than Expected – even when it’s not included in your job description. I used the example of the server at a restaurant who ran outside during a storm to move the outdoor furniture blowing across the patio to a safer, more secure spot. He returned to the restaurant, drenched from the rain, to applause from the guests. I jokingly asked him, “Was moving patio furniture included in your job description?” He said, “I just do what it takes.”
That’s a great attitude to have. First, you have to be the kind of person who innately knows you should do something right, even if it isn’t expected. Second, you have to be empowered to make those choices and act on them.
I’m reminded of an employee who fixed things around the office. If he saw something that wasn’t right, he made it right. For example, we had a frame with a motivational quote that we changed every week. One week later, the quote and picture frame were crooked. I noticed it, and while it bothered me a bit, it wasn’t worth saying anything about it. By the end of the day, it was fixed.
If I don’t do it, who will?
I knew who did it, but I still asked loud enough for others to hear, “Who fixed the weekly quote?” The answer, of course, was the same guy who fixed everything around the office. I thanked him and asked him why he handles things like this. He said, “If I don’t do it, who will?”
I love those seven words. “If I don’t do it, who will?” is right up there with “I just do what it takes.” These are the mindsets of people who go the extra mile, and by the way, it’s not really an extra mile. Often, it’s just a tiny bit more effort, if any. It’s just doing it because, “If they don’t, who will?”
When someone comes to work for you, whatever their role and responsibility, you hope they are good at it. If all they do is that role and don’t care to do anything else, such as fixing a crooked piece of art in a frame, you would still be happy with their work. But what if another employee did the same and, in addition, was willing to fix the metaphorical piece of art in a frame, even without being asked? Who would you rather have working for you?
Your answer is most likely the second option. That employee is the type of team member who will do whatever they can to take care of their internal and external customers. Why? Because they do what it takes and know, “If I don’t do it, who will?”