Under-promise and Over-deliver

Scotty (Video)

Do you remember Scotty from the original Star Trek series?  Scotty developed the reputation of a miracle-worker.  His secret was that he consistently under-promised and over-delivered.  (Alright, he was also exceptional at what he did.)  Captain Kirk would ask him how long it would take to fix something.  “Three days, Cap’n.”  “We only have three hours!” And Scotty would fix it in three hours (or whatever the time frame happened to be).

We can all learn a lesson from Scotty.  This blog provides additional information to the attached video clip.  The clip is from an assertiveness presentation I did for The Business Building Academy.

In my presentation on assertiveness, Don’t Act Like Prey!, I discuss the three R’s of assertiveness: relationships, rights, and respect.  In this presentation, I used the customer/supplier relationship as an example and we discussed the rights of each party.  In this clip, we are discussing that the customer has the right to expect what is promised and how the supplier can use Scotty from Star Trek to help make sure that the promises are kept.

It is imperative that promises are kept.  And it is acceptable to build a buffer for yourself because things do happen.  For example, if you promise a customer something in one week, and deliver in two weeks, the customer will be upset because you were a week late.  If you promise it in three weeks, and deliver it in two, the customer will be thrilled because you are early.  In each case the customer has it in two weeks.  In the first example, though, you look horrible.  In the second, you are a hero.  Which will help your business more?

This concept can be used in your personal life as well as your professional life.  Do you under-promise and over-deliver?


Keep Your Word

hKeep Your Word (Video)

It is imperative that we keep our word, no matter what.

When we keep our word, people learn that they can trust us.  When we do not keep our word, people quickly learn that we cannot be trusted.  It can take years to correct that reputation.

We must, of course, keep our promises.  The surest way to do this is to not make promises unless we are sure we can keep them.  A small promise fulfilled is much more valuable than a large promise left uncompleted.  As we keep our promises, people learn that they can trust us.

We must also follow through on our threats.  The surest way to do this is to never make a threat unless we are willing and able to carry it out.  As soon as we make a threat and then do not carry it out, people learn that they do not need to respect us.

Keeping your word applies to both our professional and personal relationships.  Stop and think what your employer, employees, customers, and suppliers will think of you if you make promises and do not keep them.  It does not take much imagination to see how damaging this will be to you and your success.

The same applies to threats.  If you threaten to dismiss an employee, you have to be willing to do so or you send a message to all your employees that they do not need to listen to you.  The same applies to suppliers.  If you threaten to drop a supplier if they do not meet certain criteria, you have to move to another supplier if they do not meet the criteria.

Not keeping your word can be just as damaging in personal relationships.  What will your spouse/partner, children, relatives, friends, and neighbors think of you if you do not keep your word?  Soon you will have taught them that they cannot trust you, that they cannot count on you.

I think the most damage comes when parents do not keep their word with their children.  If children cannot trust their parents to keep their promises, who can they trust?  Also, if parents do not follow through on their threats, children learn very quickly that there are not any negative consequences to their negative actions.  This will not help the child succeed in life.

Before you make a promise, or a threat, determine how you are going to complete it.  If you cannot, then do not make it.

No Magic Pill

hNo Magic Pill (Video)

Sorry, but there is no magic pill.  There is nothing that we can take that will make us healthy, wealthy, or wise.  There is no magic potion or spell that will give us the life we want.

All we can do is to learn everything we can, implement as much as we can, and work as hard as we can for the life we want.