It started on an airplane two years ago. Mary Kay had just landed in Dallas and was anticipating a wait of several hours to catch the connection to Waco. The flight from Dallas to Waco is less than 20 minutes. Still, she was going to have to kill time at the Dallas airport for the next flight.
As she was talking to me from the airplane, she was interrupted by the gentlemen next to her, Stewart, who was driving back to Waco. Stewart offered to share the ride with MK. This meant she would arrive back in Waco hours before her flight was scheduled to leave Dallas. The gentlemen offering the ride was a successful real estate broker in Waco and was just coming home from the international Rotary convention. MK had been a Rotarian at several Rotary Clubs when she lived in California.
Two things happened because Stewart reached out. First, months later MK became a Rotarian in Stewart’s club. Recently, MK called Stewart for a recommendation for one of his best realtors. As Trish did all the paperwork to list our house, we mentioned that we were headed to Ann Arbor the following weekend to look for a house. Trish went the extra mile and offered to do some research and find us a good Ann Arbor realtor.
Within two hours we received a call from Nancy in Ann Arbor. Just days later Nancy had several houses for us to view, all within minutes from MK’s new office. A week ago, we purchased one of those houses. The day after we signed the agreement Nancy arranged for me to meet the home inspector at the new place. As I talked to the inspector, he mentioned how much he loved working with Nancy. A few minutes later she arrived at the house.
There were only a couple issues that needed tending and Nancy handled that for us again. Another time she went the extra mile. As I look back on this experience it all started because one person who went the extra mile to make a trip more convenient for MK – Stewart, more than two years previously.
Let’s look at our own lives as leaders. Who have we gone the extra mile for lately? Employee? Customer? Vendor? Friend? Family?
Is anyone able to relate a story about you like the one I just shared about Stewart, Trish and Nancy?
Leadership is about so many things. Hopefully over the past several years you’ve seen, in these postings, that leadership is about so much more than why people typically think leadership is. As I focus on leadership situations each week, I am astounded at what I learn from others. Leadership is all around us. Hopefully, your acquaintances think leadership is all about you!