Shopping for Mangoes: Message from the Morning Man by Kojo Yankson

Shopping for Mangoes: Message from the Morning Man
by Kojo Yankson
18th October 2016
Rockson and Offei had never met, until the day they both interviewed for the same job as Sales executives for a bigh media company. This was unusual, since they had both grown up in the same city and graduated the same year from the same University. But after they both got hired that day, they became fully aware of each other – fierce rivals, in fact.
Both of them were hard workers, so it was no surprise that Rockson became extremely angry when, after just a year, Offei got promoted to Senior Sales Executive, and he didn’t. They both ,had the same duties and worked the same hours. Why would Offei be chosen over him?
Feeling cheated, he marched up to the CEO’s office to complain. The CEO wanted Rockson to understand why he hadn’t been promoted, so he said, “go downstairs to the market and find out if anybody is selling mangoes.”
Rockson did exactly as he was told, and was back in exactly five minutes. “Yes”, he said. “We can definitely get mangoes to buy in the market downstairs.”
“How much can we get them for”, asked the CEO.
Rockson went back down to the market, and returned with an answer. “About five cedis each”.
The CEO smiled, and asked Rockson to wait a moment. He then called for Offei. When Offei arrived, the CEO sent him on the same errand: “go downstairs to the market and find out if anybody is selling mangoes”.
Offei went downstairs and returned in ten minutes. “There are three different mango sellers in the market. Two of them sell their mangoes at five cedis and the third sells hers for four cedis. The third lady’s mangoes are a little smaller than the other two’s. The first lady offers a three for two deal, and the second lady’s mangoes are a little overripe, but should be okay if you plan to eat them today”.
The CEO turned to Rockson. ” Now, do you understand?”
Now, i adapted this story from a Chinese corporate fable I read recently. I was eager to share it with you because of the simple truth it illustrates: in all things, you get out what you put in. You don’t get extra unless you give extra. Some people are happy to go through life doing the bare minimum – nothing more than they are required to do. Those people reap rewards that are just as mediocre as their efforts.
In your industry, in your workplace, in your team, there are probabbly one or two Rocksons. In fact, most people are like that. They do what is expected of them. No more, no less. If they are given a task or an instructioin, they will do exactly what is asked of them, and no more. They will come to work within a few minutes of opening hours and leave at closing time on the dot. Their work is adequate. Nothing exceptional ever comes from them. Therefore, nothing exceptional ever comes to them.
If you’re lucky you might know at least one Offei. Every task is an opportunity to prove their worth. Every instruction is just a platform for them to set themselves apart from the herd. They are ezxeptional, so they do everything exceptionally. They are the ones who go where others can’t. They could take up any profession – from street sweeper to driver’s mate, and become millionaires.
The one thing great people have in common is that they all do more than expected of them. That is the simple formula for success: the winner is the one willing to do more than everyone else; the one willing to go the farthest, work the hardest, stay the longest and be the strongest.
I know it must sometimes feel as if, inspite of all your hard work, success eludes you. Well, look at it this way – to be the best at anything, you must identify the person doing the most, and do more than them.
It’s not easy, but it all starts in the mind, so before you leave the house in the morning, take one look in the mirror, and ask yourself this question: “How far are you willing to go?” The answer you gave yourself will determine how much you will make of yourself.
My name is Kojo Yankson, and I want the best, so I do my best.