Dave and Joe became the best of friends from the moment they enrolled to study business at university.
After three years of hard study, they both graduated but it was Joe who came away with a 1st-class degree.
They went for job interviews and ended up joining the same graduate programme at a renowned fruit and vegetable wholesale company.
Both young men worked very hard at their job learning and honing the craft of buying and selling. Dave was getting by but Joe was excelling.
After several years, the Manager of the wholesaler decided to promote Joe to a senior role and he was appointed a sales executive.
Dave, however, remained a sales rep.
Dave could not hide his disappointment. He complained that the company did not reward staff who worked hard only those who sucked up to the Manager.
In disgust, Dave handed in his resignation.
The Manager was very aware that Dave was a hard worker but he needed to realise that this was not enough.
He wanted Dave to understand the difference between him and Joe so he gave Dave a task.
“Dave, you are to visit the market and find out if anyone is selling organic butternut squashes,” instructed the manager.
Dave sullenly agreed. He went to the market and quickly agreed. He told his Manager that organic butternut squashes were on sale.
“What was the price?” the Manager asked.
Dave huffed and puffed. He didn’t know. So once more, he trekked over to the market found out the price and came back. He told the Manager that the price was £2 per vegetable.
“Thank you, Dave. Very interesting. Let me ask Joe the same question.”
The Manager called to Joe and said, “Joe, you are to visit the market and find out if anyone is selling organic butternut squashes.”
Joe went to the market and when he returned he said to the Manager, “there is only one vendor selling organic butternut squashes. The price is £2 per vegetable but there is a discount on bulk purchases so 10 organic butternut squashes will cost £18. The vendor assures me that he has more than 500 of the vegetable in stock. Only 100 organic butternut squashes were on display on the market table. The organic butternut squashes are mostly the same size and weight. They were harvested only a few days ago from an approved organic farm so they are fresh and of good quality and provenance.”
Dave was gobsmacked at the detail and intelligence of Joe’s reply. He now knew why Joe was achieving more than him.
Instead of resigning, Dave decided to stay at the company and learn how to work smarter, not just harder.
What are you missing that might take your performance them to the next level?
Think about how you go about creating added value to whatever it is that you do. And when you have done that consider what else you might do that could prove useful.
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