Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali stands over Sonny Liston and taunts him to get up during their title fight. Ali knocked Liston out in one minute in the first round during their bout at the Central Maine Youth Center in Lewiston, Maine.

The other day, I went to the bank. On my way back out, just as I drove up to the bank’s gates a neatly clad security guard literally leapt out of nowhere, stood in front of my car, and gave a brisk salute. He had a whistle and two

flags for directing traffic. With a rather exaggerated mime performance, he signalled at me to stop, so he could check traffic on the main road before letting me out.

Once I stopped this guy moon-walked his way onto the street, and started executing some serious dance moves, while waving his flags and blowing his whistle. There was a fair amount of robotic break-dancing involved, with a healthy infusion of shaku-shaku, alkayida and some strange shuffling movement that I can only assume was some cross between tap-dancing and Dipo.

Anyway, after about 60 seconds of hilarity, he waved me forward to join ongoing traffic. When I drew level to him, I rolled down my window and asked; what that performance was all about. He said, “The other security guys just hold the flag and say ‘come’, ‘go’. But me, I’m the best. So I have to do more”.

My friends, I thought about this security guard’s comment for days.

“I’m the best. So I have to do more”.

Two things struck me; My first thought was, “This guy believes he is the best”.

The second thought was: Being the best is an obligation.

So how many of us believe we are the best at what we do? Are you the best person on your team? Do you own the best business in your industry? Do you give the best haircuts or do you have the best bedside manner? Do your students get the best results? Are you the best? Yes? No?

In fact how can you even tell? Who decides who the best is? Who decided Mohammed Ali was the world’s greatest? Well, actually, it was Mohammed Ali himself who decided he was the greatest. In every interview and every conversation he would refer to himself as the world’s greatest. In order to prove that that statement was right, Ali worked harder than every other boxer, trained longer than his contemporaries, took more punches than any boxer was willing to take. In fact Ali was so bent on making his claim true, that he was willing to do far more than any boxer of his time would even consider doing. Today the world acknowledges Mohammed Ali as the greatest boxer of all time.

My people whatever it is that you do, whether you’re a heavyweight boxer or a security guard, the formula for being the greatest remains the same. It is a formula that never fails and actually guarantees success. To be the greatest at whatever you do, you just have to be prepared to do more than everyone else.

If everyone in your office gets in at 7 o’clock and you’re happy to do the same you have already eliminated yourself from the race to be the best. If there is something else you would rather be doing, instead of giving your customers the service they deserve, then you can never count yourself amongst the best. Being the best is about doing what everybody does and then doing a little bit more.

That is why being the best is an obligation. You are obliged to do more if you want to be the best. But the great news is that it pays off a hundredfold. No one can deny or ignore the best. Your thoughts, opinions and message are heard and considered by all. You have a voice that is worth a hundred others. These are the things you earn from being the best. And they are guaranteed, provided you are willing to do more.

Komla Dumor was always willing to do more, and today, even seven years after his sudden passing; the BBC continues to echo his booming voice across Africa, honouring his name with the journalism award. My friend, you and I are still alive. Every day we wake up with breath still in our lungs, our race to be the best continues. What are you willing to do today to put yourself ahead of the competition? Whatever it is, make it good. Because there is only one slot at the top. But never stop fighting for that spot, because you deserve it.

My name is Kojo Yankson and I am willing to do more, which is why the top spot is mine.


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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.