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***NEW*** The Extra Mile with Extraordinary Rewards

Going an Extra Mile is giving more services than you are required to, seeing a need and filling it before you are asked to, helping other people in their need when you don?t have to.

Here is an experience on this topic. I had never seen American football before I came to the United States. I started learning about it only because of Pokey Allen?s fight against cancer. My mother was diagnosed with cancer in the early 1980s. When I learned that Pokey, then Boise State University?s head football coach was ill, I invited him to speak about the disease to the Toastmasters? Club at Idaho Power. When he came, he talked about football, coaching and life. His message was not so much about his illness as it was about how we should see young people and be there for them.

Pokey died a few months later and the team went into a downward spiral under one of the assistant coaches. Another coach came and did a relatively good job helping the team recover from a bad season and beat the Vandals, their in-state rivals. However, he left at the end of the season.

Dirk Koetter was hired before the 1998 football season. As the season progressed, I customized one of my articles for the team and faxed it to the coach. The point was to help them focus beyond their obstacles. Two weeks later, I faxed another customized article on how to overcome obstacles.

?Hi, my name is Dirk Koetter, the head coach of the Boise State University Football Team. Can I please talk to Dr. Vincent Kituku?? After some silence, I said, ?Speaking!?

?Thank you for the two articles you faxed to me?Who are you and what do you know about football?? In response to the first question, I said I was the only person around this area with a ?Wyoming accent.?

I told him I didn?t know anything about football, but that I was a motivational speaker, and I knew his team could be encouraged by some of my presentations. Dirk informed me that it is a tricky thing to have someone who doesn?t know the game speak to the players. Then he said, ?If you are available, I can have you speak to them ten minutes before we go out for practice.?

After the first speech, Dirk and I started talking regularly, with me giving speeches to the team whenever I was in town, sometimes the night before a game. The team became a champion contender, but the season ended with a heartbreaking loss by one point to the University of Idaho Vandals.

I learned a lot about Dirk Koetter?s philosophy of developing football players both on and off the field. The assistant coaches and players became friends, too.

In the spring of 1999 I presented a talk to the seniors on the importance of leadership, holding the light for the rest of the team. For the whole team, we outlined the seven must-know goals for succeeding beyond expectations and the crucial aspect of ?planting in the dry season,? knowing that great performance is preceded by unspectacular preparation.

The team won the conference championship and capped the season by winning the Humanitarian Bowl Game against a team that was favored to win. Dirk gave me a coach?s uniform?I brag that I might be the only person with a coach?s uniform who doesn?t even know the rules of the game! The BSU alumni honored me by selecting me to be the 2003 Homecoming Grand Marshal.

There is no way to measure the impact my presentations have had on the team?s performance since 1998. And all presentations have been on pro bono basis. However, I know my contribution has brought intangible rewards money can?t pay in my life. Other coaches learned about my presentations and have had me work with their teams. Organizations have used the leadership and employees development programs I presented to the team.

There are invaluable benefits for going the extra mile. You automatically develop a rare but powerful quality?personal initiative. You build confidence in your skills, knowledge and abilities. You attract the attention of others, including your superiors and decision makers.

Your growth, both professional and personal, is proportional to the extra miles you cover.

Dr. Vincent Muli Wa Kituku, author of Overcoming Buffaloes at Work & in Life, works with organizations and individuals to increase productivity through leadership and employee development programs. Reach him at (208) 376-8724 or visit www.overcomingbuffaloes.com

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