Attributes of Leadership – The Habit of Doing More Than Paid

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

Go the EXTRA mile

Are you willing to do more than paid?

[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 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.

This entry was posted in Attributes of Leadership, Goal Setting, Mindset and tagged , , , , by Kerwyn Hodge. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kerwyn Hodge

Kerwyn Hodge has been an entrepreneur from early on. He’s been both a worker and manager, predominantly in the design and construction industry. Kerwyn transitioned to the Direct Selling industry, and joined LegalShield in July 2009. He works with businesses of all sizes, helping to protect the legal rights and identities of employees and their families, as well as helping to protect and grow small businesses with 100 employees or less. Check out his blog at You can reach him at 646-340-8087, or via email at

8 thoughts on “Attributes of Leadership – The Habit of Doing More Than Paid

  1. I have never been happy to settle for jobs where I couldn’t use all my abilities, and there was no variety, challenge, or independence. If these things are integral to your character, you will find yourself unknowingly seeking them out. My current job started out as a three month contract, and my task was simple: correct billing information and convert vendors to electronic invoicing. Once I got used to doing what my job required of me, my mind started wandering.

    Why? I need variety in my jobs, and this was most likely a result of my fifteen year “stint” in retail management. On a daily basis, retail managers have to fill the HR role, ordering and receiving, loss prevention, sales, fiscal and compliance roles, and visual roles, just to name a few. I found moving into the initial stage of the job I currently hold to be very routine, so what did I do? Whine about being bored? Nope! I started helping vendors pull apart their accounts and create new ones (loads of fun caused by a split and subsequent spin-off). Then I started building a directory of contacts so I could get them to the correct people they should have been invoicing. This eventually ended up with me helping a vendor that bills us correct THEIR billing setups. I also noticed that there were discounts being missed, so I got those vendors offering them setup at priority level so we could actually save some money! I didn’t wait to be asked. I just did it.

    Once my supervisors saw me doing this, they started feeding me new tasks on a weekly basis. Chasing down purchase orders. Assisting with the department help desk as needed. Being trained to index. Helping gather information to assist in cleaning up past due accounts. And now I am being moved to the help desk full time and helping train the girl who will be indexing while we make further progress with implementing Oracle. Since the test environment is set up for us to have access to all processes, you can bet while some of the girls will be focusing on their processes only, I am sticking my fingers everywhere in Oracle I possibly can. The more I know the better!

    So I created my variety and challenge all on my own, using my current competencies and ability to further increase my knowledge. (Loving to learn new things constantly never hindered anyone.) I am fortunate to say, however, that independence has never been an issue for me. My employers all saw my talents and work ethic and decided early on that they did not need to worry about “babysitting” me. I was pretty much allowed free reign, which makes it difficult to not like the job!

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    • You are so right! Even if we consider the “typical” 8-hour workday, that’s about 50% of your waking hours (not counting travel time)! It would be a shame spending so much of such of our precious time doing something we DON’T love. I really appreciate your input, Kimberly!

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