Extra Turn of the Knob

Posted on April 15, 2012 by Josh Linkner

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.

5 Responses to “Extra Turn of the Knob

  1. This a fact! Not new though;heard it a couple of times. The problem is most times we get too busy to always remember this. Thanks bROTHER

  2. Josh:

    I read your blog faithfully each week. Most of the time, if not all, I thoroughly agree with your prospective. Often I send them to my three boys (25,22,19) as lessons to take to heart. I figure that you never know which one will hit home and make a difference in their life. I know more than a few have inspired me.

    My youngest, Michael, a sophomore at U of M, is working at Quicken this summer. I hope you two run into each other. I know he has gained a lot just from reading the many blogs I send his way.

    Keep up the good work and your advocacy for creativity in business, life and the revival of Detroit.

    Maurice Pogoda

  3. Simple idea Josh. Very powerful. I have a similar concept that I call “the power of one”… doing just one more… Whether it’s adding an extra km to your run or getting up just one half hour earlier… Small improvements every day really do add up to make a huge difference.

    Thanks for the Monday morning inspiration.

  4. I agree and appreciate your thoughts. I am a big fan of your creativity as well. But here I have a slight difference of opinion. Yes doing that extra bit is important but this intention should not be to beat the competition. Because there is somebody who is better than you always, and will be that is the truth, so who all will you beat and how long. I feel, you need to be a benchmark for yourself. Put the extra bit to bring your bench mark upwards. Like Sachin Tendulkar.. and Amir Khan the Bollywood actor in India. they keep raising the bar for themselves nor for others. This is my thought.

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