Posts Tagged ‘extra mile’

Going the Second Mile

It’s Sunday today and perhaps a good day to remind ourselves of the value of going the second mile, whether in employment or learning.

My friend told me about a time when his employer was in a time bind. A customer needed some work done as soon as possible. This was on a Friday. Instead of waiting until Monday to start the work, my friend put in some weekend time and completed the desperately-needed work by Monday.

The employer had not asked for this.

My friend not only got more work done than expected, he also learned a lot by taking personal initiative and not waiting to be told explicitly what to do by his employer.

My friend wrote in his journal about his employer:

“This exceeded his wildest expectations. He was very pleased; and the word really got around . . .  that the job had been done in jig time. [This] was a significant milestone in setting my philosophy of operation as regards my work for employers. I had always been inclined to give them a good shot with the expectation that they would return the favor with promotions, pay increases and the like as conditions would permit.

“I got a lot of positive feedback from them that helped me to keep that philosophy valid in my mind.

“I am glad that I did that . . . because the world is full of people who feel that employers do not have anything more than the minimum coming to them. And employers sense that immediately, by and large, and return in kind: just the minimum. It makes for a dreary, adversarial world.

“An employer who sees an employee going the extra mile will almost inevitably . . . respond in kind. It makes for a much better world, based on trust that the other party will do the right  thing when the proper time comes.

” . . . you can no more escape the rewards of going the extra mile than you can escape the inevitable sanctions of giving only the minimum.”

What has this got to do with learning?

Teachers, college instructors, university professors, whomever, are no different from employers when it comes to the personal initiative of their students.

Whether you are on the job or in school, when you go the extra mile, when you take personal initiative in working or learning, you can no more escape your future benefits of this behavior (however long they may be in coming) than you can escape the problems (however long they may be in coming) of not taking charge of yourself.

Am I saying that you should always take evenings and weekends to work and learn?

No, you need healthy recreational times, as well as hard-working times. Both are needed to ensure future benefits.

I am saying that you can be balanced in general and still go the extra mile in helping others, and yourself, in work, in play, in learning.

Doc Meek, Active Learning Strategies Specialist

Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA; and South Jordan, Utah, USA

Contact Doc Meek

September 2020
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