One of the penalties of leadership is the necessity of willingness, upon the part of leaders, to do more than they require of their followers – Napoleon Hill
[This is the sixth in a series exploring the attributes of leadership outlined by Napoleon Hill]
Going the extra mile (Matthew 5:41). Give more than you get. Under-promise and over-deliver. These are all maxims that embrace the philosophy found in this leadership attribute, the habit of doing more than paid. A leader gives more in value than he or she ever receives in compensation? Yet, ask the average person about their attitude towards “going the extra mile” and you’ll likely find an ingrained reluctance. ‘That’s not in my job description,’ ‘I just do what I need to get by,’ or ‘I do what they pay me for, that’s it’ are common responses. Yet Napoleon Hill found this a necessary quality for success. Therefore, why is there such resistance towards this attribute of leadership? And, perhaps more importantly, how can we develop this quality?
Do You Love What You Do?
How many people love what they do? I don’t mean they just like it, or think it’s interesting. I mean they truly love it and think it’s what they’re called to do in life? If you’re one of those people, then you deserve applause! After all, those who don’t love their work represent a large group. Alyson Shontell referenced Deloitte’s Shift Index when stating that 80% find dissatisfaction with their jobs. That’s a problem. If you don’t love what you do, why in the world will you do more than expected?
The problem goes deeper. If we assume you get the recommended 8 hours of sleep, you then have 16 waking hours in your day. Work typically consumes half of those hours, not counting travel time. Therefore, you are spending at least half of your waking hours – doing something you don’t enjoy! Is it any wonder why many are seething below the surface? They’re like pressure cookers set on high, with pressure building, and no release valve. When they explode, it can get ugly! It also explains why they don’t “get you” enjoying your job, and why you can’t wrap your head around their attitudes towards work. You’re seeing things from opposite ends of the spectrum, and that makes it hard to have a meeting of the minds.
If you’re part of the 80% dissatisfied with work (whether it’s a job or a business you’ve started that’s become a job you own), what can you do to find more joy and join the ranks of the satisfied 20% of the workforce?
How to Find More Joy in What You Do
Everything starts with us, and our attitude. Jim Rohn gave some incredible advice in this regard. He said, “Somebody said you have to love what you do, but that’s not necessarily true. What is true is that you have to love the opportunity. The opportunity to build life, future, health, success and fortune. Knocking on someone’s door or making that extra call may not be something you love to do, but you love the opportunity of what might be behind that door or call.” So, if you don’t love your job or what you’re doing, learn to love the opportunity it affords you. Maybe it allows you to pay your bills while building a business for yourself. Learn to love that. Maybe you’re building a business and hit brick walls, and they hurt as you rush headlong into them. However, you know you’re on the road to having the lifestyle and the freedom you desire. Learn to love that. A change in attitude can work wonders towards finding more enjoyment in life! What else can you do?
Loralea Prentis wrote a wonderful article entitled “People Who Love What They Do.” In it she cites an unreferenced study which found four common factors among job lovers: competence, variety, independence, and challenge. How can you embrace (or develop) these factors?
- Competence. This is perhaps the easiest of the four, because it really depends on you. Take pride in your work, and always strive to improve. King Solomon of Israel under inspiration stated, “Have you beheld a man skillful in his work? Before kings is where he will station himself; he will not station himself before commonplace men” (Proverbs 22:19). Therefore, the more competent you become, the more people held in high regard notice you, and that leads to greater opportunities to change your circumstances.
- Variety. Some jobs are chock full of variety. Others, not so much. If the work you do is among the former, then embrace that and get busy enjoying the fullness of the experience. What, though, if you fall into the latter group? Then get creative. Perhaps there are opportunities to expand within different divisions of your company. Or maybe you need to take matters into your own hands and invest in your professional education outside of work. Alternatively, you may find that getting involved in activities not related to work at all makes being at work more bearable (like volunteer community service). Whatever the case, you can find variety in life that helps make work more enjoyable!
- Independence. Most of us enjoy a measure of autonomy. It is so disconcerting when someone is looking over your shoulder! I personally find that distracting, and I often have to say something to the person doing it. I find in many cases they think it will make me work faster. When I let them know it’s having the opposite effect, they tend to move off. Lurkers aside, independence gives you freedom to creatively handle situations. It also indicates your superiors have a measure of trust in your abilities, and that alone moves you to work harder and be more innovative, thus increasing your joy.
- Challenge. Drudgery. The opposite of challenge. Just the sound of that word is depressing! No one likes monotony. Again, some jobs and professions are rife with challenge, and that keeps those fortunate enough to work in those sectors engaged. Yet, what if your job is simply repetitive, real drudgery? An article published on GeekInterview.com mentions the following three steps to overcoming monotony: seek meaning, seek education, and seek training & opportunities – all things we’ve discussed. So, in short, do the stuff mentioned above!
Doing more than paid may not sound like a profitable habit, yet it yields incredible rewards. By going the extra mile now, you’ll put yourself in a position to earn far more than your efforts alone can generate in the future. So cultivate the habit now!
How do you go the extra mile? What ways do you plan to do more than paid in the future? Let us know in the Comments below.
- Attributes of Leadership – Unwavering Courage (kerwynhodge.wordpress.com)
- Attributes of Leadership – Self-Control (kerwynhodge.wordpress.com)
- Attributes of Leadership – A Keen Sense of Justice (kerwynhodge.wordpress.com)
- Attributes of Leadership – Definiteness of Decision (kerwynhodge.wordpress.com)
- Attributes of Leadership – Definiteness of Plans (kerwynhodge.wordpress.com)
- Think and Grow Rich Video Series by Napoleon Hill (harounkola.com)
- Think about this….IS THIS YOU? Napoleon Hill’s 17 Principles (carlasaner.wordpress.com)
- A Modern Napoleon Hill Story (mikecanex.wordpress.com)