• Providing outcomes that represent the best efforts for the task at hand
  • Going the extra mile to deliver completed assignments to co-workers and customers
  • Refusing to be satisfied with incomplete or inferior work
My first job after college graduation was a State Bank Examiner. I was on a team of young individuals with a boss that had been an examiner for what seemed like forever to a 20-year-old; he had been with the State for 30 plus years (forever). The gentleman was quite intimidating to us that were just beginning our careers. Looking back, I now realize he was setting us up for success.  

We would walk into State chartered banks unannounced for an audit and stay for a week or several months depending on the complexity of the bank. All the work performed by the team was reviewed by the managers and boss before it was included in an Audit Report. The complete Audit Report was then provided to the Bank Board of Directors and State regulatory agency. One of the first lessons taught by the team managers was to make certain that your work was your best efforts and was ready to be turned over to the bank's Board of Directors, before you handed it to our boss for review. Our boss certainly did not have the time to send work back and forth for review and revisions. We had to make certain that we were personally satisfied with our work and know that we had given our best effort for the best possible outcome. This doesn't mean that we all turned in perfect work and did not have to make revisions, but we certainly did learn how to get better.

Now advance many years forward and I see this same practice of reviewing work and providing the best possible outcomes. That’s what the Funds For Learning staff learns at the beginning of their careers. Everyone involved with the E-rate program understands the complexity of the program and how important it is to go the extra mile to complete a form correctly and file it before the deadline. For example, before an E-rate application or an E-rate-related form is forwarded to a client, the application or form is reviewed internally by two or more individuals. Funds For Learning values the importance of clients’ and other staff members’ time. Therefore, we want to make certain that they have our best work to review and not have to ask several questions or make revisions. Valuing another individual's time and effort demonstrates respect. This can go a long way in gaining the trust of the client and other team members.

So, as you go about your tasks this week, you might ask yourself, "Is the work being performed my 'best work' and am I valuing someone else's time that may be reviewing or relying on my work?"

Key Words and Phrases
Excellence; Greatest degree of good; Maximum effort; Highest quality service; Do your best; Top performance; Finest; Complete, lacking in nothing.

Opposite Terms
Lacking; Incomplete; Unprepared; Shoddy.

GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides

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