A great article by Dr. Robert A. Rohm. He is a popular keynote speaker, author and corporate trainer recognized for his expertise in team building and human behavior.
Most of us have worked on projects at different times in our life. Getting started on a project can sometimes be a challenge. Seeing the project through to completion is an even greater challenge. But, checking on the project at the very end to be assured that it is correct is the biggest challenge of all. I believe it is the last 2% of effort that will either make or break the success of any project or endeavor to which we devote ourselves. I have a great story to share with you that illustrates this point well.
A missionary friend of mine was taking a group of teenagers to Mexico on a mission trip. They would be located in remote places without much communication connection with the outside world. They were all meeting in Spokane, Washington and departing together from there. My friend had contacted me about the possibility of sending some kind of encouraging message for the teenagers to hear each morning of the trip. I know a speaker who is always upbeat, positive and enthusiastic so I got several copies of his CD’s, bought a CD player, packed up the entire package and mailed it to my friend’s attention at the hotel where they were staying in Spokane. I dropped the package in the Fed Ex box and then called my friend to tell him that it had been sent.
Now, earlier in my life, I would have thought that I had completed the job and fulfilled my promise to my friend. But, I have learned that it is the last 2% of effort that really counts and that is often the hardest part of the whole job. Although I had gathered everything, prepared it for shipping, and dropped the package in the Fed Ex box, I did not believe in my heart that my task was yet finished. You see, I did not promise my friend that I would drop my package in a Fed Ex box; I promised him that I would get the tape player and CD’s into his hands. Therefore, I knew that my job was not complete until I checked on the final delivery of my package.
The next afternoon, I went online to see if the package had been delivered and sure enough, I discovered that it had been signed for by someone at the hotel. I then called my friend and asked if he had received the package. He had not, but said that he would go to the front desk and check.
A little while later, I received a call back and was told that the package still had not arrived. That seemed odd to me since someone at the hotel had already signed for it. So, I called the hotel and spoke to the front desk manager. I was told that the Fed Ex delivery had already come that day and that the package was not there. Fortunately, I was able to give him the name of the person who had signed for the package. Although the gentleman at the front desk did not recognize that name, he said that the hotel had many employees, so he would check into it and call me back. I gave him my phone number and told him I would be anxiously waiting for his call.
True to his word, he called me back about thirty minutes later and said, “How can I ever thank you?” When I asked what he meant, he said, “Today we had a different Fed Ex driver than normal and instead of delivering all of the packages to the front desk, he delivered them to the loading dock in the back of the hotel! I went back there and found several important packages for guests who are staying here. If I had not gone back there and checked, there is no way they would have made it up here to the front desk. The loading dock is where the hotel receives most of its packages, but the front desk is where we put the packages that arrive for our guests. It was just a mix up on our part and I am sorry. I have already delivered your package to your friend.” I thanked him and gave my friend a call and was told that the package was safely in his hands. Now my job was complete and I knew that I had fulfilled my promise.
I know you may think that I am going way overboard and becoming a control freak or being overly responsible for situations I cannot handle or control. However, I believe it is my job to be a positive influence on anything in which I am involved. Therefore, having a lackadaisical attitude of, “Well, I’ve done my part!” prevents me from understanding and achieving the final aspect of true success in life.
This particular Tip is not for the faint-hearted or for those who are not willing to go the second, third, or even fourth mile. It is for those who will go as many miles as needed in order to see the job fulfilled and completed. Feel free to do whatever you want to do, but if you want to get to the “acres of diamonds” you will always have to do just a little more!
I don’t know what sort of project you may be involved in right now, but I promise you that if you are not willing to do whatever is necessary to get the job done, you will never achieve true success in life. Anybody can be average; and remember, average is just as near the bottom as it is the top. The person who wants to make a difference in life will always go the distance, whatever it takes, to see a task completed or a promise fulfilled. It can be a real hassle and headache to do this, but it is well worth the success you will experience when you put forth the extra 2% of effort. You will be the winner for it. I promise!
Tip: It’s the last 2% that counts!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm