From Good to Outstanding

Hi winners,

Today I was in a discussion with my General Manager along with my fellow colleague discussing about the performance of my team members.   The discussion was going on for a long time until we realized that the time is 10:50pm.   The summary of the discussion is “how to identify a person’s performance as Good, Very Good or Excellent”.    This had made me to remember a story that I had read long back.     With the help of my friend “Google” I had discovered that story.   I am sharing that with you for invoking your neurons.    This story will give you a crystal clear thought on boosting your performance from Good to Great.   Enjoy reading it.

Employee “Saran” in a company walked up to his manager and asked what my job is for the day?
The manager took “Saran” to the bank of a river and asked him to cross the river and reach the other side of the bank. “Saran” completed this task successfully and reported back to the manager about the completion of the task assigned.
The manager smiled and said “GOOD JOB”

Next day Employee “Venkat” reported to the same manager and asked him the job for the day.
The manager assigned the same task as above to this person also. The Employee “Venkat” before starting the task saw Employee “Mohan” struggling in the river to reach the other side of the bank. He realized “Mohan” has the same task. Now “Venkat” not only crossed the river but also helped “Mohan” to cross the river.
“Venkat” reported back to the manager and the manager smiled and said “VERY GOOD JOB”

The following day Employee “Ranga” reported to the same manager and asked him the job for the day. The manager assigned the same task again.
Employee “Ranga” before starting the work did some home work and realized “Saran”, “Venkat” & “Mohan” all has done this task before. He met them and understood how they performed. He realized that there is a need for a guide and training for doing this task. He sat first and wrote down the procedure for crossing the river, he documented the common mistakes people made, and tricks to do the task efficiently and effortlessly. Using the methodology he had written down he crossed the river and reported back to the manager along with documented procedure and training material.
The manger said “Ranga” you have done an “EXCELLENT JOB”.

The following day Employee “Sudhir“‘ reported to the manager and asked him the job for the day. The manager assigned the same task again.
“Sudhir” studied the procedure written down by “Ranga” and sat and thought about the whole task.  He realized company is spending lot of money in getting this task completed. He decided not to cross the river, but sat and designed and implemented a bridge across the river and went back to his manager and said, “You no longer need to assign this task to any one”.
The manager smiled and said “OUTSTANDING JOB ‘Sudhir’. I AM VERY PROUD OF YOU.”

What is the difference between Saran, Venkat, Ranga & Sudhir?

Many a times in life we get tasks to be done at home, at office, at play. Most of us end up doing what is expected out of us. Do we feel happy? Most probably yes.
We would be often disappointed when the recognition is not meeting our expectation.

Let us compare ourselves with “Venkat”. Helping someone else the problem often improves our own skills. There is an old proverb (I do not know the author) “learn to teach and teach to learn”. From a company point of view “Venkat” has demonstrated much better skills than “Saran” since one more task for the company is completed.  “Ranga” created knowledge base for the team. More often than not, we do the task assigned to us without checking history. Learning from other’s mistake is the best way to improve efficiency. This knowledge creation for the team is of immense help. Re-usability reduces cost there by increases productivity of the team. “Ranga” demonstrated good “team-player” skills.

Now to the outstanding person, “Sudhir” made the task irrelevant; he created a Permanent Asset to the team.
If you notice Venkat, Ranga and Sudhir all have demonstrated “team performance” over an above individual performance; also they have demonstrated a very invaluable characteristic known as “INITIATIVE”.

Initiative pays of every where whether at work or at personal life. If you put initiative you will succeed. Initiative is a continual process and it never ends.
This is because this year’s achievement is next year’s task. You cannot use the same success story every year.   The story provides an instance of performance, where as measurement needs to be spread across at least 6-12 months. Consequently performance should be consistent and evenly spread.
Out-of-Box thinkers are always premium and that is what everyone constantly looks out for. Initiative, Out-of-Box thinking and commitment are the stepping stone to success.  Initiative should be lifelong. Think of out of the box.

Hope you had got an extra ordinary message from this story.     I request all of you to capture this message in your long term memory and prove your excellence in your job.  

Have many wonderful moments ahead.



Success is not a milestone, it should be your Journey


  1. 1
    N. Srividya Says:

    ok…. so you have given the ratings for today’s appraisal in an intelligent way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! good! keep it up!

  2. 2
    Venkataraman Says:

    Great story… The right way to appraise a person… Thanks for sharing this…

  3. 3
    Shadz Says:

    Good one…keep it up.

  4. 4
    Shrividya Says:

    A very good one. A must read for employees facing an appraisal. This will help them to set the expectations right.

  5. 5
    Ashok Raj Says:

    Good old story came again refreshing.. thanks for this…
    I know, am doing a “GOOD” job… don’t know when I will do like “Sudhir”!! 🙂

  6. 6
    Yuva Says:


    I know all managers think like this only…

    They expect more, but reward less…

    -Yuva 🙂

    • 7
      energy4excellence Says:

      Hi Yuva,
      For instance remove the name “Manager” and read this story. This story is more from the perspective of an employee rather than a Manager.

      I was frank enough to write about the incident that has triggered me to write this post, but my intention is to make each of us to understand this difference and move in a positive direction.

      You have 2 options.
      1. Crib about the existing reality.
      2. Start moving towards “Outstanding”, one fine day everybody will realise your potential.

      The choice is yours. My best wishes are always with you to achieve great heights in your career.


  7. 8
    BVN Says:

    or leave the current organization and move ahead, but dont crib:):):)

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