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Recently, I competed for the National Title of Ms. US Forestry Queen and heard several times over the weekend, “You are an extraordinary woman!” I am humbled and appreciative of any complement, but this one makes me giggle a little on the inside. Why do I giggle? Thank about it…..extraordinary when broken down is extra-ordinary. Ordinary defined as an adjective is:
1. of no special quality or interest; commonplace; unexceptional
2. plain or undistinguished
3. somewhat inferior or below average; mediocre
4. customary; usual; normal
I find it amusing to be extra unexceptional, extra plain, extra mediocre or extra normal. I am sure that is not what the user of the word intends, but in reality it truly is a great word to describe me. Being a little bit like Peter Pan and not wanting to be all grown up, I like to play games. I play games all the time as a way to keep myself motivated and on task. I love to play leap frog. Not in the physical sense like I am in Kindergarten, but more of mental game. I like to take ordinary events, ideas, concepts and leap frog them into "extraordinary" events, ideas and concepts.
For example, I was hired by a National Automotive Management, Service and Sales Staff Recruiting and Sales Performance Training Firm as a member of their sales team. During my first week on the job, I overheard that the company was planning on making their first showing at a rather large industry trade show in a few months. I got so excited about the opportunity to use my sunny personality, while engaging with clients face to face. My excitement was quickly deflated as I discovered I was not tagging along. I questioned why the company was not taking any members of their sales team, notably me. The reason given, I was new and not up to speed and therefore a liability. So, I took a leap and without a sales performance training manual, got myself up to speed and closing deals like my life depended on it. Again, I was told that I was not going to the trade show because it was two weeks away, tickets were already purchased, arrangements made and there was no residual in the budget to take me. So, I took another leap and bought my own airfare and made my own arrangements. I arrived at NADA and continue to leap over ordinary into extraordinary. By the time the trade show was over, I had been promoted to Sales Manager, asked to recruit additional sales team members and expected to train this team for the company I had been employed with for only two months. Not bad for being extra undistinguished.
Do you have members of your team that are just below the average? Are you finding yourself being undistinguished from your peers or competition? I invite you and your team to join me on the playground for a little game of leap frog!
Copyright © 2014, Stephanie Young All rights reserved.