The Difference Between Ordinary and Extraordinary Executives is That “Little Extra”

Executives who are described as extraordinary, consistently do the little extras. The pace of business continues to escalate. You can never be too busy to do the little extra things for your team and yourself, if you want to enjoy extraordinary career advancement. 

execunetselect-extra-mileLITTLE EXTRA #1: Care More About Your People, Than Your Title

When your team knows they can trust you, you care about them and you do what you promise, they will to the extra mile to achieve company goals and objectives. 

LITTLE EXTRA #2: Treat People the Way they Want to Be Treated

Put yourself in the shoes of the people you manage and see the world through their eyes. I treated people the way I wanted to be treated for 15 years and finally realized it wasn’t effective. It then dawned on me that they were not me and I needed to treat them the way they wanted to be treated – which was very effective. 

LITTLE EXTRA #3: Listen to Understand, Not Judge or Solve

When people talk to you, listen to understand where they are coming from rather than provide a solution or judge them.  Strive to become the best listener in the lives of the people you supervise.

LITTLE EXTRA #4: Focus on Other’s WIIFM (What’s in it For Me)

During times of change, your team needs to understand how they benefit by changes being implemented. It is not enough to only stress how you or your company will benefit. Provide individual or professional development and training. 

LITTLE EXTRA #5: Help Others Succeed

Know the short, as well as long-term career goals of the people you supervise. Don’t hold a good person back because you don’t want to lose them. Be the force that pushes them forward in their life and career. 

LITTLE EXTRA #6: Assign Mentors to New Hires

Provide mentors to your new hires. This improves engagement but also develops the leadership skills of mentors you assign.  Teach leadership skills to your mentors. 

LITTLE EXTRA #7: Celebrate and Reward Efforts

Too often only revenue generators are recognized or rewarded, which can demotivate other team members and departments.  Whenever possible recognize and reward efforts not only sales.  

LITTLE EXTRA #8: Keep Your Employees Informed

Take time to keep your team informed especially during challenging times or when change is occurring. Obtain their feedback and have them focus on solutions vs. the problems that need to be resolved. 

LITTLE EXTRA #9: Delegate and teach vs. Do

Teach others what you know and delegate power and authority to others. You limit the success of the people you supervise if you always provide answers or do things for them.  

LITTLE EXTRA #10: Conduct Stay Interviews

Take time to talk to your employees about why they love their job.  Ask if they have any skills they are not using. Let them know how their work helps achieve company goals. This will improve engagement and retention.

Next, let’s talk about the little extra things you can do that will help advance your career and help you personally achieve extraordinary success. 

TIP#1: Lifetime Relationships

Future success will be based on the strong relationships you create with your team, peers, and supervisors. Connect online and maintain lifetime relationships with everyone in your personal, as well as professional network.

TIP #2: Subject Matter Expert

Become known as a subject matter expert in your industry or profession. Write at least two posts weekly on your LinkedIn feed and share with groups that are supported by leaders in your field. 

TIP #3: Smart Risk-taking Mindset

Conduct research, set goals, create metrics, and complete your due diligence in order to take calculated risk when faced with an unforeseen opportunity. 

TIP #4: Personal Character

To achieve extraordinary success, believe in yourself even when others don’t. Embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Invest time to manage yourself including your core values, ethics, character, principles, purpose, and conduct.  Maintain your drive, determination, and resilience to face challenges and stay humble, regardless of the level of success you achieve.

TIP #5: Out-of-the-Box Thinking

Extraordinary leaders don’t consider the box. Take your competitive advantage to another level, increase market visibility, and implement innovative processes. 

TIP #6: Emotional Intelligence

Leadership is not always black and white, and decisions are not 100% based on data gathered. People have a tremendous impact on the level of success you achieve. People are emotional beings which is why you need to understand and manage emotions of others, throughout your career. 

TIP #7: Leadership Roles Outside Your Company

Executive headhunters often research the leadership of professional associations when they are conducting high level retained searches for executives. Participation in professional associations are great networking opportunities and help you grow and prosper in your career.

TIP #8: Do Well But Also Do Good

This is something I learned from my grandmother who believed if you are doing well in your career and in life, you must do “good.” Getting involved in philanthropic endeavors that align with your core values provides another dimension to your character and leadership abilities. 

TIP #9: Promote DEI

According to the US Census, “American’s identifying as multiracial grew from 9 million to 33.8 million between 2010 and 2020. That same diversity should be represented in your company at all levels including leadership. Take steps to promote inclusion and ensure equity to fuel a positive employee experience and also to enjoy the higher performance of diverse teams. 

TIP #10: Written Goals with Dated Action Items

If you don’t know where you’re going, you won’t get there. Annually write down ten goals in all areas of your life, followed by five dated action items. Post them where you can read them often and require that your team members do the same.

When you implement any of the “little extras” outlined for your team or any of the ten tips outlined for yourself, you will achieve extraordinary success.



Barbara Bruno

Barbara Bruno

Barbara Bruno, author of HIGH-TECH HIGH-TOUCH RECRUITING: How To Attract And Retain The Best Talent By Improving The Candidate Experience, is an internationally recognized recruiting expert who has a proven track record of helping recruiters and talent acquisition professionals become more successful and less stressed. She has created several popular LinkedIn Learning courses and is president of Good As Gold Training, HR Search, Inc., and Happy Candidates.

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