Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Extra Mile

In 1991, when ‘Successories’ hired Tim Dumler as a corporate account manager, he shared his goal of becoming number one in the company with his manager, Neil Sexton. But Neil, quite frankly, had serious doubts that Tim could make it through the first month, much less be number one.
Neil’s first two interviews with Tim were conducted over the phone, and he passed those with flying colours. But when Neil met Tim for the first time, he was shocked when Tim told him he was legally blind. He began to lose his sight when he was in the third grade from a rare disease called macular degeneration. Tim acknowledged he would have problems entering orders into the computers, but he had a solution. He told Neil about a machine that he could hook up to magnify the letters on the screen to two inches high. Tim was willing to buy it if he could have the job.
After the conversation, Neil came to my office and explained the situation. Mac said, “Neil, let’s give him a chance,” but I must admit, I had serious doubts that Tim could do it. Well, we were dead wrong. We grossly underestimated Tim’s passion and his determination to succeed. Even though it took him much longer to enter the orders, Tim made it work. He came in early, he worked late. Whatever it took, he did it.
In 1991, Tim’s first year, he was number one out of ten experienced corporate sales reps, with over $500,000 in sales. In 1994 he was number one again with $700,000, and again in 1997 with $950,000.
His customers loved him because when you can’t see, you become a great listener. His peers loved him because of his caring, positive attitude. He was certainly an inspiration to me, too. I asked him one time, “Tim, how do you stay so positive?”
He said, “Mac, it’s unfortunate that I’m visually impaired, but I have to tell you that fighting through the adversity has made me a better person. I have come to realize that I have a lot more than I don’t have. I love my family, my work, and the people I work with. I’ve been blessed in many ways.”
~ Author Unknown
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“Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile.

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