Under-promise and Over-deliver

Integrity is such an overused word - especially in religious circles. I like this image - it communicates to me how integrity can act like a compass in our lives. Following the direction of this compass always seems like a good idea. I loved how this statement from Kim Allen caught my attention in her recent article on integrity:
Enduring sales people know it's much smarter to under-promise and over-deliver. Being the best doesn't come from the hype. Rather, it's borne out of the ability to offer genuine care and service and to satisfy, on a sustainable basis, those who come to trust and rely on who we are and what we do.
I think that people take notice of both kinds of people - the ones mention above and  those who over-promise and under-deliver. It seems a rarity these days to find a person that you can take at their word. I think that some folks are really sincere in what they say and promise but simply lack the ability to follow through on their commitments. Did I say commitment? I must have meant good intentions.


  1. There is a verse in Proverbs that says ~~~ A promise not kept, is like a rain cloud, and no rain.

    I enjoyed this read. I really like her statement.

  2. I just had this conversation with the contractor doing our deck. He told us it would take about 3-4 weeks. It's now looking like 9-10. Meanwhile, he's had a series of unfortunate events. But, the main problem is he does not communicate and does not know how to reset expectations. He continues to say it will be done "next week" and doesn't seem to grasp the fact that we actually would like to know what days to expect him to show up.

    The sad thing is he does FANTASTIC work. His work is far exceeding our expectations. But, the fact that he doesn't communicate his work schedule and hasn't hit one date he's given us yet has soured the whole thing. He won't even get to bid on the other project we have because my wife has lost confidence in his ability to deliver.

  3. @Wanda - Empty clouds and empty promises - sounds like Solomon.

    @Brian - Years ago I had an auto mechanic like that. Excellent and low cost work but very unreliable and hard to contact.

  4. The thing about it, Bob, is if he had said "I'm really, really busy. It'll take me about 2 months. I'll work you in when I can and I'l be there sporadically." I'd be thrilled with the job. But, he continues to over promise and under deliver, even AFTER our conversation when he himself said he believed in the principle of under promising and over delivering.

    I'll continue to use him as a handy man because he does do great work and has always been very reliable in that sense. He has had some setbacks beyond his control on this job. But, his ability to manage a large project is definitely lacking.

  5. I can relate Brian. Handymen do not always make the best general contractors. When we moved this summer I had a carpenter that made some wheelchair accessible mods to our loft and barely got the work finished before we moved in. I was glad the scope of the work wasn't bigger than it was.


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