The ‘More, Better, Quicker’ Principle: A Proven Pathway To Extraordinary Success

POST WRITTEN BY Dr. Richard Ellison for Forbes Coaches Council
Dr. Richard Ellison is the author of “Career Happiness & Success” and created the PATH2HappiSuccess online career assessment program.

Early in my 40-year career, I had the opportunity to be employed by a variety of companies. Then, for most of my career, I hired and worked with many very successful colleagues at my consulting companies. Through these experiences, I developed an easy-to-implement technique that almost guarantees a successful outcome in the majority of circumstances. This technique relies on completing every assignment so that the results are “More, Better and Quicker” (MBQ) than anticipated by the supervisor who assigned the task.

A Top Performer

If you consistently follow the MBQ Principle, you will put yourself in a very positive position anytime a raise or promotion opportunity arises, because your supervisors will recognize that you are:

• Not just one of the rare “engaged” workers on their team but one of the top performers, meaning it will be far more enjoyable for them to work with you;

• Making their job easier and helping them improve on their own deadlines; and

• Helping them look good to their superiors and/or customers.

Since your work will always be superior to the norm, supervisors will systematically give you the most important assignments, which will allow you to also gain positive exposure with their bosses.

What Do I Mean By More, Better, Quicker?

A specific assignment or task that you’re asked to complete is usually just one element in a larger, overall “big picture” activity or goal. Frequently, your supervisor will tell you what’s needed based on limited information. So, once you start doing the detailed work, you may see a better way to complete the assignment — for example, an alternative that would satisfy the big picture better.

In this kind of typical situation, MBQ means:

More: Always exceeding the supervisor’s expectations (without excessive time) in providing a deliverable that best fits their objective, together with a clear explanation of why it is the best fit.

Better: Doing the work in such a way that it’s actually a better fit for — or improves the outcome of — the big picture/goal.

Quicker: Returning the results sooner than requested, which would give your supervisor more time to incorporate them into the big picture, or even finding a way for the entire big picture to be completed earlier than anticipated.

MBQ In Action

I have an introverted personality, so it often was not easy for me to socialize with my bosses. Subconsciously, I created the MBQ Principle to gain recognition and to prove that my skill level and degree of self-motivation were superior to most of my peers.

By following the MBQ Principle, I was recognized for consistently doing exceptional work that benefited my supervisor. At every job, this approach was successful and essentially made me indispensable. The following is an example of how I practiced MBQ.

In the 1970s, Nevada was initiating new regulations for permitting gold mines. I was asked to develop a schedule of events and times required for our client to permit a new, large open-pit mine. The mine would have two types of ore: one in which gold could be recovered with a relatively simple and fast process (Process 1) and the other with a fairly complex and slower process (Process 2). The regulations did not differentiate between processes, and our client and my supervisor assumed that the time to permit the total operation would be based on the complex process (Process 2). When I met with the state’s regulatory staff, they also indicated that the schedule would be based on Process 2.

As I began developing the schedule, it was apparent that permitting would take longer than our client had anticipated. So I explored ways to expedite the process, and I got the idea that we could present the operation as Phase 1 (for Process 1) and Phase 2 (for Process 2). I then met with the regulators again and said that we were planning to submit an application to permit Phase 1 in a few months and that we would submit an application for Phase 2 later in the year. They agreed to this sequence.

When I presented this strategy, the client was elated because this would allow them to develop positive cash flow much sooner than expected. My supervisor was happy because this strategy solidified our relationship with the client. And I was happy because they both recognized the benefit of my unexpected MBQ effort.

In this example:

More = making the extra effort to expedite the process

Better = getting regulatory acceptance to permit Phase 1 separately

Quicker = enabling the client to receive the Phase 1 permit more than a year earlier than expected

The Client Principle

As I moved up the management chain, we also followed a parallel principle when approaching and satisfying important client assignments. The Client Principle had the same objective of always providing results that exceeded the client’s expectations, but the criteria were different than just “More, Better and Quicker.” The Client Principle’s objectives were to generate results that:

• Were most cost-effective;

• Enhanced the client’s overall success; and

• Met a schedule compatible with the client’s overall activities.

These clients recognize that you always strive to provide results superior to those delivered by your peers.

These truly are principles that just cannot fail.