In his classic book, Business by the Book, Larry Burkett told the story of Will, the owner of a large manufacturing company who displayed a supernatural level of service toward a staff member who betrayed him. Although Will had invested five years of time and resources grooming his plant manager to become the next president of the company, the plant manager submitted his resignation one day without any explanation.
When Will asked the plant manager, John, to stay only long enough for the company to find a replacement, John refused.
Nevertheless, Will forgave John and prayed for him regularly. Will hosted a going away party for John and provided a substantial severance bonus.
Three months later, John opened his own company and copied Will’s best-selling product. Soon, John’s company had become one of Will’s largest competitors.
Nine years later, Will learned that there had been a design problem with one of John’s new products and that he was facing several lawsuits as a result.
With a forgiving, servant’s heart, Will bought one of John’s products, tested it, pinpointed the problem, and commissioned his engineers to find the solution. Once the solution had been determined, Will called John to explain how he could fix the problem to satisfy his customers.[i] Indeed, he went the “extra mile” in his service to John.
[i] Larry Burkett, Business by the Book (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 4.