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A formula for success

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I try to keep out of trouble at work as much as possible, for many reasons, but mainly because I prefer being praised to being yelled at. There is a very simple way to achieve this; simply make your promises rarely and in such a fashion that you have leeway if something should go wrong, and then follow up on it.
 
I don’t mean to say that you should be ambiguous, but rather that you should promise to deliver so that you have more than enough time on your hands. If you’ve got a task on hand that should take three days, promise to have it done within five.
 
After promising to deliver in five, do the job, double check everything, then deliver in four. By taking the extra day, you can take your time to perform quality assurance, in turn lowering the chance of problems afterwards.
 
The mantra is known as Tom Peters‘ Formula for Success: Underpromise and overdeliver.

One Comment

  1. […] Some years ago, I wrote about Tom Peters‘ Formula for Success, which hinges on doing two things; promising less than you can deliver, and delivering more than you have promised. I can’t foresee a future when this will not be true, however, I think it bears expanding on. Simply put, by telling the user what to expect, we not only set their expectations, we manage them too, particularly if the user’s expectations are wildly unrealistic. […]

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