The best way to excel in today’s competitive world is to be extraordinary. This involves refusing to be average but going the extra mile like Ezra in the story (below) a sister of mine, Yewande Omoteso, recently shared with me…
Ezra and and his friend Thomas joined a company together a few months after their graduation from university. After a few years of work, their Manager promoted Ezra to a position of Senior Sales Manager, but Thomas remained in his entry level Junior Sales Officer position. Thomas developed a sense of jealousy and disgruntlement, but continued working anyway.
One day Thomas felt that he could not work with Ezra anymore. He wrote his resignation letter, but before he submitted it to the Manager, he complained that Management did not value hard working staff, but promoted only the favoured! The Manager knew that Ezra worked very hard for the years he had spent at the company; even harder than Thomas and therefore he deserved the promotion. So in order to help Thomas to realize this, the Manager gave Thomas a task.
“Go and find out if anyone is selling water melons in town?” Thomas returned and said, “yes there is someone!” The Manager asked, “how much per kg?” Thomas drove back to town to ask and then returned to inform the Manager; “they are N100.00 per kg!” The Manager told Thomas, “I will give Ezra the same task that I gave you. Please pay close attention to his response!”
So the Manager said to Ezra, in the presence of Thomas; “Go and find out if anyone is selling water melons in town?” Ezra went to find out and on his return he said: “Manager, there is only one person selling water melons in the whole town. The cost is N500.00 each water melon and N300,00 for a half melon. He sells them at N100.00 per kg when sliced. He has in his stock 93 melons, each one weighing about 7kg.
He has a farm and can supply us with melons for the next 4 months at a rate of 102 melons per day at N350.00 per melon; this includes delivery. The melons appear fresh and red with good quality, and they taste better than the ones we sold last year. He has his own slicing machine and is willing to slice for us free of charge. We need to strike a deal with him before 10am tomorrow and we will be sure of beating last year’s profits in melons by over N2,300,000.00. This will contribute positively to our overall performance as it will add a minimum of 8.78% to our current overall sales target.
I have put this information down in writing and is available on spreadsheet. Please let me know if you need it as I can send it to you in fifteen minutes.”
Thomas was very impressed and realized the difference between himself and Ezra. He decided not to resign but to learn from Ezra…
Extraordinary people like Ezra, are proactive, go beyond the call of duty, think out of the box and they reinvent the job. That is what we should do this week and beyond.