S-t-r-e-t-c-h as a rule: It always pays!!

The theme of S-T-R-E-T-C-H clearly is an attitude that comes naturally and is not put on. It means putting yourself out to help others, irrespective of the immediate gains or losses. The results speak for themselves.

Stretch as a ruleMany years ago an elderly lady was strolling through a Pittsburgh department store, obviously killing time. She passed counter after counter without anyone paying any attention to her. All of the clerks had spotted her as an idle “looker” who had no intention of buying. They made it a point of looking in another direction when she stopped at their counters.

What costly business this neglect turned out to be! Finally the lady came to a counter that was attended by a young clerk who bowed politely and asked if he might serve her.

“No” she replied, “I am just killing time, waiting for the rain to stop so I can go home”. “Very well Madam” the young man smiled, “may I bring out a chair for you”, and he brought it without waiting for her answer. After the rain stopped, the young man took the lady by the arm, escorted her to the street and bade her good-bye. As she left she asked him for his card.

Several months later the owner of the store received a letter, asking that this young man be sent to Scotland to take an order for the furnishings of a home. The owner of the store wrote back that he was sorry, but the young man did not work the home furnishings department, however, he explained that he would be glad to send an “experienced man” to do his job.

Back came a reply that no one would do except this particular young man. The letter was signed by Andrew Carnegie* and the house he wanted furnished was Skibo Castle in Scotland. The elderly lady was Mr. Carnegie’s mother. The young man was sent to Scotland and he received an order for several hundred thousand dollars worth of household furnishings. He later became the owner of half interest in the store.

Certainly it pays to go the extra mile.

* Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish American industrialist who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century.

Categorized as Media

S-t-r-e-t-c-h together

A little support and encouragement helps our teams take ownership for the “stretch”.We all need a stretch team…so let’s build one!!!

Stretch togetherStretch Together

by Dr. Harry Clarke Noyes


fall, when

you see Geese

heading South for

the Winter, flying along

in V formation, you might

consider what science has dis‐

covered as to why they fly that way:

as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an

uplift for the bird immediately following. By

flying in V formation the whole flock adds at least

71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

People who share a common direction and sense of community

can get where they are going more quickly and easily

because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.


a goose falls

out of formation,

it suddenly feels the drag

and resistance of trying to go it alone

and quickly gets back into formation to take

advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

If we have as much sense as a goose,

we will stay in formation

with those who are headed the same way we are.


the Head Goose

gets tired, it rotates back

in the wing and another goose flies point.

It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs

with people or with geese flying South.


honk from behind to

encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

What do we say when we honk from behind?


and this is important,

when a goose gets sick, or is

wounded by gunshots and falls out

of formation, two other geese fall out with that

goose and follow it down to lend help and protection.

They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly, or until

it dies. Only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation

to catch up with their group.




Categorized as Media

S-t-r-e-t-c-h to serve: Customer service is the key

If anyone questions the value of “stretching” & the overall effect it has on success…they only have to read this story of Thomas J. Watson Jr.!!!!!!!!!!!!

stretch to serveIn May 1956, four years after becoming IBM’s president, Thomas J. Watson Jr., succeeded his father as Chief Executive Officer.

When the son first assumed command a half-century ago, IBM employed 72,500 people worldwide and produced $892 million in revenue. When he resigned as board chairman 15 years later, IBM had grown to more than 270,000 employees and revenue of $8.274 billion. In that same 15-year period, the company’s net income after taxes had risen from $87 million to $1.079 billion.

During his uncommon life, Tom Watson, Jr.:Transformed IBM from a medium-sized member of the top 100 U.S. businesses into one of the largest industrial corporations in the world.

Built IBM into a divisionalized and professionally-managed high technology enterprise.

Recognized the potential of electronics in information handling and drove IBM’s transition from punched card tabulators and clocks to transistors and integrated circuits.

Pushed the development of the IBM 701 and IBM System/360 — two landmark developments in the history of the computer.

Abolished the hourly wage in IBM, introduced tuition loans and pioneered matching grants for charities.

Advocated federal aid for the poor, better national health care and nuclear disarmament.

Served his nation in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and as the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union in 1979-1981.

Here’s a excerpt from his book ‘A business and its beliefs: The ideas that helped build IBM’.

These are not small things. The relationship between the man and the customer, the importance of reputation, the idea of putting the customer first – always – all these things, if carried out with real conviction by a company, can make a great deal of difference in its destiny.

In time, good service became almost a reflex in IBM, and father loved to show what the company could do. In 1942, an official of the War Production Board gave him a perfect excuse to do it. The WPB man called him late on the afternoon of Good Friday to place an order for 150 machines, challenging him to deliver the equipment by the following Monday in Washington, D.C. Father said he would have the machines there on time. On Saturday morning, he and his staff phones IBM offices all over the country and instructed them to get some 150 machines on the road that Easter weekend. Just to make sure his caller got the point, father instructed his staff to wire the WPB man at his office or home the minute each truck started on its way to Washington, giving the time of departure and expected arrival. He made arrangements with police and Army officials to escort the trucks which were to be driven around the clock. Customer engineers were brought in and a miniature factory was set up in Georgetown to handle the reception and installation of the equipment.

Categorized as Media

Stretch is Never-Say-Die attitude

Further to our theme ‘Stretch’, here’s an inspirational story on how a famous athlete stretched himself to develop a ‘Never-Say-Die’ attitude. Hope you enjoy it.

A crash tackle from behind during a rugby game left Murray Halberg, a 17-year-old New Zealander, with a dislocated shoulder and an injured arm. The doctors saved his life but could not heal his withering left arm. He was advised to resign himself to handicap. The year was 1950. An atrophied left arm meant that all contact sports were out. But Halberg could still run.

Murray Halberg approached Arthur Lydiard, the man who laid the foundation of New Zealand’s middle and long-distance industry. Lydiard did not bring up the question of the arm. Instead, he took Halberg on a cross country run over the toughest available route. Halberg last the ordeal.

Halberg religiously went through Lydiard’s 100-mile-a-week training. Won national colours for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. Finished 11th in 1,500 m. Lydiard kept the spirit up: they were preparing for the 1960 Olympics.

The pay-off began when in 1958 Halberg won the 5,000 m at the Commonwealth Games. Instead of keeping to the strategy that won them this race, coach and protégé decided to make a critical switch. The plan was to open up a sizeable lead before the last lap, when runners dig into their reserves for the final effort. And then keep with it.

On a sweltering day in Rome, Halberg started his race for the 5,000 m gold slowly. He was last after 1,000 m. He was fifth after the next 1,000 m. With a little over three laps to the finish, Halberg suddenly tore away from the rest. This confused the others: Why was he blowing up the last traces of his stamina? By the time they could respond, Halberg had completed the lap in 61.1 sec, opening up a lead of 20 metres.

In the final lap, the lead shrunk to 15 m, 10 m and then to less than 10 m. But that was it. Halberg breasted the tape eight metres ahead of the East German. His last lap was an extremely slow 73 sec. More important: his strategy had paid off and he had won. He clocked 13 min 43.4 sec – and collapsed on the track. He was still clutching the finish tape with his one good hand.

Remarkable achievement for a man who had been advised to resign himself to his handicap – for life.

Categorized as Media

Stretch your comfort zone

Our subject of discussion this fortnight is the value of ‘Stretch’ in achieving overall success in life. Hope you enjoy the series.

Stretch your comfort zone

One of our major problems is that we usually do not ask enough of our people. People at all levels of the organization can accomplish very much more than they are asked to under contemporary conventions. You have only got to see what your people can achieve when you are in an enormous period of expansion.

The reality is that we are conservative in our appreciation of others’ abilities and we are reticent and uncertain about our own. Not only is it necessary organizationally to stretch others, but it is also necessary that we should stretch ourselves. How many times have you told yourself you could not do something but when you ultimately faced up and had a go, to your amazement you succeeded. The art of ‘growing people’ lies to a great degree in this stretching process.

Everybody in a well run organization should feel himself under some pressure. Nothing is worse for young people when they start work, particularly if they join large companies, than to spend a year or so just sitting before they are trusted to do anything. People’s self-confidence grows when they achieve more, and an even more ambitious and difficult target needs to be set. If not, most people in this world will achieve only a fraction of what they are capable of.

(Based on ‘Making it happen’ by John Harvey-Jones)

Here’s a short poem on Stretch – as a belief

It can be done – by William J. Bennett

The man who misses all the fun

Is he who says, ‘It can’t be done.’

In solemn pride he stands aloof

And greets each venture with reproof.

Had he the power he’d efface

The history of the human race;

We’d have no radio or motor cars,

No streets lit by electric stars;

No telegraph no telephone,

We’d linger in the age of stone.

The world would sleep if the things were run

By men who say, ‘It can’t be done.’

Categorized as Media

Notional Learning

Notional Learning

‘Why are so many people so ignorant?’ asked a person genuinely concerned about the suffering in the world.

‘They don’t want to learn as their attention is elsewhere.’

The disciple didn’t agree with the Master.

‘People have cherished notions about how teaching and learning should take place.’

‘What is wrong with that?’

‘They cannot have the notions and the learning too.’

Categorized as Media