NOTE FROM JEFF: I first published this article more than nine years ago. It’s always been one of my favorites. I stumbled across it this week and decided to share it again, knowing that it would be new to most of my readers. Plus my long-time subscribers have likely forgotten it. Hopefully it resonates with you.
Rod Moseman learned a great deal about hard work and discipline while growing up on a dairy farm in the 1950s and 60s. Every day of every year, in steaming hot summers and blowing winter snows, more than a hundred cows had to be fed and milked. You could never let down. You could never take a day off.
In order to succeed, farm families put in long hours and go the extra mile. Everyone has to do their part to make the enterprise profitable – even the children.
Hoping to instill a strong work ethic in his kids, Moseman’s father transcribed a then-popular poem by Carl Holmes, entitled “And Then Some” and posted it prominently in the family’s farm house:
A retired business executive was once asked the secret of success. He replied that it could be summed up in three words…and then some.
“I discovered at an early age,” he declared, “that most of the difference between average people and top people could be explained in three words. The top people did what was expected of them…and then some.
They were thoughtful of others, they were considerate and kind…and then some.
They met their obligations and responsibilities fairly and squarely…and then some.
We are thankful for people like that, for they make the world more livable, for their spirit of service is summed up in the three little words…and then some.”
That short passage made a huge impression on young Moseman. He committed it to memory and used it as a source of motivation throughout his college education and ultimately his entire career.
The poem was so meaningful that Moseman followed his father’s example and passed it on to his own children. He printed the passage and posted it above a pencil sharpener where his daughters did their homework. Like his father, Moseman would often remind his girls of “the three little words.”
And then some.
After graduating from college in 1972, Moseman went on to a successful career in economic development, helping companies build new offices, stores and factories. Economic development is an incredibly competitive profession. Cities and states spend millions of dollars fighting each other trying to lure desirable companies and all the money and talented people that come with them. It’s a fast-moving industry, which requires intensity, commitment and focus. Moseman had all that…and then some.
Over his 40-year career, Moseman was involved in the creation of tens of thousands of jobs as well as countless billions of dollars in capital investment. He worked closely with some of the world’s best-known corporate titans such as Yahoo!, Union Pacific, Gallup, PayPal, Fidelity, BMW, Travelers and many others.
And not only was he good at recruiting businesses, he was innovative. Many of the strategies and tactics he employed had never been seen in the economic development profession.
Through all those years and all that hard work, Moseman kept those three little words in his head.
And then some.
Those words came in handy. Whether he was lamenting the loss of hard-fought battle for a corporate headquarters, going the extra mile to impress consultants considering sites for a new manufacturing plant or finding the spare energy when he and his staff labored to finish a proposal at three o’clock in the morning, he remembered that passage from his childhood.
And then some.