Going the extra mile makes you a winner
Brad, assistant manager for a restaurant chain in Yakima, Washington, told Session 3B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"Back during my senior year in 2007, I was a very busy student, probably busier than most kids. I worked roughly 30-35 hours per week, had a full schedule at school, and had a major role in three different clubs. I had jobs at school that included planning Teacher Appreciation Week, hand delivering graduation tickets, gathering and scanning senior pictures for multiple projects, and so much more. I was in Relating as Leaders, ASB, and Senior Council all at the same time. When the first Senior Council meeting was held, we started planning ways to raise and save money, assigning tasks to each member, and setting dates for every event and meeting for the entire year. When it came time to choose someone to do the Senior Slideshow to play during our graduation assembly and on graduation day, I knew I was in the 'safe zone' because I had never done anything that complex with a computer before. Apparently no one else had done anything like it as well, so of course my teacher looked me in the eyes and said, 'Brad, you can handle this, right?' All I could think was 'No, no, no!' but my mouth decided to say 'Yes' instead. Great! I had just signed my life away to the school. There went my chance for any social time. I went in at least an hour early almost every day, with coffee of course. I used my first class to work on my oversized, full plate of jobs. The good thing was that the teacher was the one who had assigned all of these tasks to me. There were even weeks where I would beg other teachers to do the same and I would do all of their work at home. Let's just say I knew my way around each teacher pretty well. Some took chocolate as bribery, and others I had to do more work for. With as much as I worked and worked on this Senior Slideshow, I still felt like I wasn't going to make the deadline. I
stressed and panicked over every little detail that I felt I was doing it all wrong and it wasn't going to be up to standard for all of my 240 peers at graduation. Then I started piling on senior projects and college prep while still working those 30 hours. 'Overwhelmed' was the easiest and best way to describe my senior year. When the day came to play the slideshow, I curled my toes, clutched my fist and squinted as it started to play. Only one eye could look as I nervously looked at everyone for disappointment. Instead, I received the most compliments I think I had ever heard at one time. My heart was doing jumping jacks because I was so relieved.
"The lesson I learned from this experience is to not be afraid of taking on extra responsibility and going the extra mile. The action I want you to take is to go for the gold, take one for the team, and stretch yourself. You will be surprised by the satisfaction and rewards that come your way."
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