Stretch your performance

I love playing the game of squash. We hit a small ball before it bounces for the second time. You can hit it before it bounces (called a volley shot) or when it only bounces first time. By the time it bounces the second time, you lose the point to the opponent. This is the common way of making points in the game of squash.

Good squash players are good at stretching themselves beyond normal points of reach to hit far balls before they bounce two times. They will stretch their legs and arms to reach distant balls. This is the sure way to win a tough squash game. Without stretching hard, you remain an average player. Without stretching yourself, you can only pick easy balls when anyone can pick. You cannot stand out without stretching to reach distant balls.

At the workplace, it is the same thing. Those who stretch themselves end up winners. These are the people that extend themselves to deliver far more results than expected from average peers.  An average employee will sell very little or nothing when it is raining. But an outstanding sales person will stretch himself or herself and sell as much as possible even when it is raining—he or she will find ways to deliver in spite of the rains.

A typical employee will come to work at the designated time and knock off as soon as the clock strikes the official knock off time. However, the outstanding employee will come to work earlier and leave after the official time. Outstanding employees will stretch themselves to produce outstanding results, outstanding delivery and output. They do not like to give excuses for their failure to deliver, rather they look for clever ways to resolve the issues they face on the way to delivery.

Outstanding employees know and acknowledge that outstanding delivery does not come by easily. They know that they need to sweat in order to stand out. They know that when working conditions are comfortable, they need to deliver more than promised, more than expected and more than everyone else. They do not stop working until they are done. They stretch themselves to stand out.

These are the people that know that in life, one has to compete very hard to stand out. They know very well that time comes when all this outstanding delivery pays back to them. This could be the day when the employer is promoting them or the day when they get a big bonus. This could be the day when another organisation headhunts them to join them at higher pay. Ultimately, this could be the day on retirement when you look back with happiness, gratitude and pride recalling how much you achieved.

Whatever the moment when you will rejoice, as a result of your sweat from stretching yourself, it is worth the effort. You need to aim to stand out, work for it and have the resilience to withstand the turbulence along the way. This is the sure way to stand out. There are no shortcuts and no easy ways. It is all through hard-work, perseverance and consistence. You have to work for it to earn it.

I am close to many people that have excelled at work. I like talking to them to hear their story, and they all have one thing in common—they stretch themselves. They work much more intensely than their average performing peers. Today, you too make that choice, between being an average performer and the outstanding one. You know what both choices mean, what they each demand and the rewards associated with each of them. If you want easy life now and tough life tomorrow, choose the easy way. If you want the ultimate success, invest your effort in sweat today for the sweet tomorrow. It is worth the effort.

Now you are empowered to stretch your arms and legs to deliver in spite of challenges that you will face along the way. You will stand out from the crowd and be crowned the winner, the champion. Good luck as you work hard to stretch yourself and to rise and shine! All the best!   n

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