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Everything You Need to Know About Being Under Promise, Over Deliver

I noticed my eyes were getting worse, so I went for a check-up. From the optometrist, I immediately, went to my optician to have the prescription filled – I like their selection of frames and I trust their opinion about how they look on me.

I picked out a frame I liked, something lightweight, and was told my glasses would be ready in 2 days. It was then the adventure began, and I was reminded of a business axiom that I believe applies to all of us in the professional world.

The way to be successful is to always under promise, and over deliver.

The players in this story shall remain nameless. However, the lesson is valuable.

I showed up on Saturday to pick up my glasses which were supposed to be ready on Friday. They told me that the delivery didn’t come and to come back on Monday. Naturally, I called on Monday, I was told that they were not yet ready, but I should call end of day on Tuesday, and the owner would personally deliver and fit my glasses. She even gave me her cell phone number. On Tuesday, I left a message on her cell phone and never did receive a call back – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – I left messages which were not returned, and it became obvious that my order had not been placed, or something went horribly wrong. Throughout all of this, no call from the owner and on Friday my glasses were delivered, by an assistant – with no professional fitting.

Will I go back there? Will I recommend them? I am not sure. What I know is that everyone involved over promised, and then clearly under delivered. There is no quicker and surer way to destroy your reputation.

I believe that this concept also applies to individuals at work. When you get a new project, when you are faced with a deadline, are you honest about what you are capable of producing? Do you under promise and then over deliver? This is the best way of creating a reputation of completing your work on time, while staying true to your word.

 

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