The Extra Mile
When I joined a new company in August 2010, the extra mile story started. The primary reason for me was the adventure of setting up a new offshore development center. I was excited because there were my big responsibilities in the new job advertisement. I was selected by an old professional acquaintance who praised my work.
I was a technical expert. The thing I loved most about IT was the fact that it would keep me on my toes; every new challenge seemed like an opportunity to crack the code, pun intended! However, the management of the company was a typical old-fashioned Indian style. And something, the hardest thing do is changing a paradigm. People resist change even if it is the right thing to do.
The company was setting up a new captive center and challenge was how to execute the offshore project for the parent company. At start-up time, we were trying to bid for a project for the parent company which was very critical as any small mistake could result in huge monetary losses to the company. As we were bidding for such projects the traditional management was not open to taking the risk and executing the project in a different way. They were very rigid about following the conventional model.
When I was young and least experienced among them, they perceived me and my ideas to be ineffective. They thought my suggestions were too bold and did not matter since they had been in the industry for over a decade more than me. With experience on their part, I found it very difficult to get an audience with them; I would get cold stares and awkward silence every time I stepped into the meeting room. It became very difficult to change their perceptions about me, but I was determined to get the point across. I never felt they were wrong, I just felt they were settling down for less while I was sure we could turn things around radically! I trusted them, and I also trusted myself.
I finally created the opportunity to work with one of the panelists about his projects and began to change his mind about me through my work. He saw the result, and he began to support me in the meeting room discussion.
As the results became more visible, the support increased and the bord finish-based on my innovation approach.
Today, after six months, I’m handling five major projects with a turnover of about sixteen hundred million dollars. I’m one of the youngest in the decision-making team with people who are twice as experienced as me.
If you feel you can bring about a change and make a difference but are being faced with resistance, remember people may ignore your conviction but they will take notice of the results.
there is always room to change their paradigm with facts where most people give up, leaders innovate. After all, there is no traffic on the extra mile.
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