Extra Turn of the Knob

There have been countless books written on getting ahead, habits of successful people, and forging solid relationships.  Each year, some new psycho-babble buzzword or slick management technique emerges to help success-starved individuals reach the next level.

When you really boil it down, the most effective thing you can do is simply over-deliver.  That’s right, no fancy 7-step program, cheesy business fable or pedantic sports analogy.

If you have a boss and she asks you to do something, go ahead and do it perfectly.  Nail the details, make sure it reflects your best work, and of course deliver on time.  From there, just add one extra thing that wasn’t asked for.  Maybe an extra idea or insight.  Perhaps an additional few pages of research or analysis that goes beyond the initial request.

I refer to this as an extra turn of the knob.

Imagine two team members working for the same leader.  Both do great work, but one consistently gives his work an extra turn of the knob.  Is there any question who will get that next promotion?

There are countless stories of famous actors who win the audition by doing something that goes above expectations.  Legendary athletes push themselves to train harder than their counterparts in order to extract the extra edge.  The politician who makes that one extra campaign stop ends up sealing her victory.

What would an extra turn of the knob look like in your life?  An extra visit to the gym each week?  Reading one more book per year?  Rehearsing your big presentation one extra time to make sure it’s the best one of the day?

Sure, you’re busy and you already do what you’re asked to do.  But in today’s competitive world, delivering high quality work is just the ante to play.  To reach your true potential and seize your dreams, simply give each project, sales pitch, or research report one extra turn of the knob.  If you do this consistently, you will steadily rise to previously unattainable heights.

When you peel away the leadership fads of the day, you’ll realize that getting to the next level is well within your grasp.  Whether you’re working to improve your company, community, or career, give each activity an extra turn of the knob and you’ll soon be basking in the light of extraordinary success.