The ATS (And Then Some) Principle

When someone goes the extra mile, I notice.

I notice it at work. I notice it in the store or restaurant. I notice it at online.

But I don’t notice it because it is what is expected. I notice it because it is a rarity.

In a recent post, I outlined why hand written notes make a difference (hint: very few people actually send them).

Do other people feel this way?

Have we become a society where we accept and mistakenly reward “good enough”?

This weekend, I had the opportunity to hear author Grady Hauser speak at a conference.

Hauser published a book titled “Passing the Baton: 100 Life Principles and Skills Every Father Needs to Teach His Children“.

The author stresses the responsibility of teachable moments every day.

One of the principles applies not only to fathers but also to any professional who strives to stand out from the crowd.

People just like you.

The life skill is called the ATS Principle.

ATS stands for And Then Some.

The example Hauser shared in person (and in the book) is of a business supplier who passed along $1,000 in savings on a contracted amount.

Contractually, the supplier could have pocketed the extra savings.

But he choose to fulfill his contract responsibilities. And then some.

In the long term, this act of goodwill will most likely reward the contractor many times over.

How much extra effort or cost is ATS?

Very little.

Hauser appropriate concludes this principle with the following advice:

“Delivering at 100% is usually good enough to keep you off the hot seat.  For the most part it goes unnoticed.

But deliver at 105% of anyone’s expectations and you’re an absolute hero.

Loyalty is created, friendships deepen and you are often rewarded in both practical and intangible ways.”

I encourage you to make a commitment for this week to give what is expected And Then Some.

It may become a habit you and me will hopefully never break.

What suggestions or examples do you have for this principle?

What other resources do you recommend?

About the Author

Brent Peterson, PMP, MS, MBA, is the founder of Interview Angel Inc, a company that offers a comprehensive guide and toolkit for job seekers to use in interviews.

The purpose of Interview Angel is to take the fear out of job interviews.  Customer testimonials for the Interview Angel product are posted online for additional reference.

Brent’s first customer was a father who purchased Interview Angel as a graduation gift for his daughter.  Since then, clients have included government workforce centers, business school programs, a corporation going through a merger, and Goodwill Industries.


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