Benjamin Houston was having an especially rough night. As a Domino's Pizza delivery driver in Flint, Michigan, it had been a tough road. The fact that Benjamin is deaf made his situation even more challenging. It all came to a head on July 15, when his car broke down on a delivery run near midnight in a tough, poorly-lit neighborhood.
Scared and with few options, most of us would freak out in a situation like Benjamin's. But when help didn't arrive quickly, he did something extraordinary. He realized that his customer was waiting for the warm pizza he was charged to deliver, so he mustered up the courage to get the job done. On foot.
Showing up nearly an hour late, Benjamin apologized profusely after his grueling walk. When the customer learned of Benjamin's plight, she couldn't believe this disadvantaged young man risked his own safety to ensure her order was fulfilled. Deeply grateful, she launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the needed car repairs to get Benjamin back on the road. Happy customer enjoying pizza; happy driver enjoying his now fully operational vehicle.
In the end, Benjamin's fortitude to deliver on his commitment ended up solving his broken car problem. It would have been easy for him to shirk his responsibility and put his own needs above those of his hungry customer's. He wasn't the franchise owner or store manager. But Benjamin delivered nonetheless.
He certainly had a valid excuse to fall short, but that's not what true professionals do. Instead, they rise to the challenge delivering results (and pizzas) instead of excuses. They take ownership of the outcome, regardless of the circumstances. The hallmark of a pro. And as a result, they enjoy a disproportionate amount of life's rewards. In Benjamin's case, the customer he served became the catalyst to elevating his own situation.
Each of us has a choice to make on a daily basis. Do we perform at championship levels consistently, or only when convenient? Do we make a personal commitment to deliver no matter what obstacles exist or do we look for excuses to blame for underperforming? For those that want to achieve at the highest levels, delivering with excellence must be a daily, unshakable habit. If we perform with consistency, the results will follow.
Benjamin not only fed a hungry family, he inspired millions as his story spread. His act of compassion and professionalism made a difference for his customer, company, and community. And by putting others first, he ended up getting ahead as well.
It's time to embrace Benjamin's firm commitment to deliver – no matter what. In doing so, we elevate ourselves and those around us. It doesn't matter if you're a Mover in Minneapolis, a CPA in Charlotte, or run a Hedge Fund in Houston. Deliver reliably, and you'll reliably savor the results.