Go 400 Extra Miles To Gain The Extra Edge

extra-edge-extra-miles-personal accountability-QBQ

Some stories about being outstanding are so outstanding, they speak for themselves. So let’s get right to it! Our story comes from a believer in the QBQ! book and its message of Personal Accountability. Enjoy and pass on!

The Problem

My name is Josh and I work for Cardello Electric Supply in Morgantown, West Virginia. We are implementing your “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” training system here and it is truly adding value to our organization.

Now that I understand what QBQ! is all about, I have a story for you.

We placed an order with Olympia Lighting, a manufacturer we’d never used before. We needed our product delivered by a specific date so we could install the equipment for our customer. Olympia guaranteed that date.

However, human error by the shipping firm pushed our install timeline back. Our customer, a school district, needed the lights for a football field—and there was a big game coming up!

So we changed our order to have it expedited but then the shipping company messed up again and our product was briefly lost in their system. It was then found sitting in the shipping firm’s warehouse.

In other words, our much-needed stuff was still in New Jersey!

The Solution

Obviously, this put us in an awkward situation with our customer, who had to change the scheduled night game to daytime. However, they had another game the following evening. So we had a new deadline.

After talking with our unhappy customer again, I contacted Olympia again, reaching Jonathan Shalvi, the Sales & Marketing manager.

He said, “I understand your frustration, as well as your customer’s. So I drove over to the shipping facility and they wouldn’t allow me to pick up the package that is shipping to you. As crazy as that sounds, it’s their protocol. So, I don’t have it in my hands.”

I said, “Well, I don’t trust we’ll have it tomorrow now. I don’t know what to do.”

Jonathan then stated, “You know, I can grab some similar items in our warehouse and drive them down to you tonight.”

Wanting to be very clear about what he was offering, I said, “You’re going to leave Northvale, New Jersey and drive to Morgantown, West Virginia—today? That’s got to be over 400 miles!”

He said, “Absolutely!”

I asked, “Why would you do this?”

He responded, “Your customer needs it. So you need it.”


When I offered to cover a hotel room for Jonathan here in WV, he politely declined, saying he needed to get back to NJ. He had a trip to make to Connecticut the next day. Wow.

I met him at 11:00 pm and thanked him over and over. I assured him I would spread the word about Olympia Lighting and promised to always give his organization the opportunity to win our business.

The Lesson

We all know about turning lemons into lemonade—and that’s what Jonathan did. Mistakes happen and customers are pretty forgiving. When we go the extra 400 miles to fix customer problems, though, our organization definitely gains “the extra edge.”

And who doesn’t need an extra edge in today’s competitive marketplace?

Do you have a story like this to share? Comments welcome!

HOW to be an outstanding organization is shared in Outstanding!

Grab the book here!


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