The Slight Edge: Just One More…

It’s a common perception that there is a big gap between “average people” and “successful people.” Some people are just able to get better results and make more money, yet they put in the same or even fewer hours. So what’s the difference? The answer lies in The Slight Edge, a concept from Jeff Olson’s book.

In major league baseball, a batter who gets two hits out of every ten times at bat is called a .200 hitter. This batter, within a very short period of time would likely be looking for a job outside of baseball or returned to the minor leagues. On the other hand, a hitter who gets just three hits out of every ten times at bat is a .300 hitter and is considered a great success, and if he continues to improve, he is destined for the Hall of Fame.

The difference between the batter that gets fired or demoted and the one that makes the Hall of Fame is not huge; it’s only one additional hit for every ten times at bat. It’s the slight edge that makes the difference between success and failure.

In another example, a highly successful salesperson once stated that the secret to his success was making one more call. At the end of his day, before he left he would make one more call to set up a sales appointment. He was not always successful in making an appointment, yet that single small action brought him one additional appointment per week!

Doubling your knowledge, hours on the job, or personal skills is not necessary to double your effectiveness or your value. A small, additional amount of effort can bring about tremendous results.

Use the Slight Edge Daily:

  • Schedule one more thing to do daily that is a High Payoff Activity. Whether it’s planning for tomorrow for 10 minutes at the end of the day, scheduling time to motivate one more employee, or sending one more thank you card to a customer, a small effort can bring about big returns.
  • Use a planning system and schedule dedicated time to work on projects. Treat that time as if you were meeting with your best customer and protect your schedule. Communicate with others what you are trying to achieve and solicit their support to not interrupt you.
  • Read a chapter of a book per day. Expanding your knowledge daily keeps your mind sharp.
  • Schedule time each day dedicated to preventing “fires.” Start taking a proactive approach to identify the true cause of recurrent problems and shorten the solution cycle.

Start today. Choose just one additional high payoff activity to focus on and schedule a small amount of time (even 5 minutes) to dedicate to it. Don’t give up! One or two weeks may not be enough time to see the true results of your actions, so stick with it. Remember, you are not just changing your actions, but others have to support you to ensure success.

Remember to reward yourself. Once you have experienced the power of The Slight Edge, adopt a few other small improvements. Success can be addictive and the motivation you generate can easily be shared with others!

For more on motivating yourself to be more successful, click here!