Under Promise. Over Deliver.

These are the essential quotes that define my life philosophy. I have no idea where they came from; they are likely not my own, but I have owned them for so long I cannot cite anyone else. They are things I have said to those around me for years, and things I hope to teach my children.


Here’s the quote:

“Under Promise. Over Deliver.”

What It Means:

Much of life is about managing expectations. The temptation in work and personal relationships is to make outsized promises, out of an eagerness to please, a need to look good, or a hoped for achievement. While promises are important in any relationship, and the basis for trust, the danger is in setting a bar too high. If you say you can do what you likely cannot do, the resulting disappointment hurts everyone.

Outcomes trump intentions. It is better to set expectations to a manageable level, which positions your performance in a positive light. This is not manipulation, but rather an honest self-assessment and reasonable communication.


About the Author

Len Wilson

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Christ follower. Storyteller. Strategist. Writer. Creative Director at St Andrew. Tickle monster. Author, Think Like a Five Year Old (Abingdon).