Simple Wisdom Tip #90: Under promise and Over perform

A basic principle in life and work is to under promise and over perform.  Most of us do the opposite.  For example, we optimistically tell our boss that we can complete the project by May 15 and end up delivering it on May 23rd.  Wouldn’t it have been better to have committed to June 1 and completed it on May 23rd?  A few days either way probably doesn’t matter all that much but it is the impression you are creating.


My Lexus dealer understands this principle.  When I go in for service, they say the work will cost $298 and then I see the bill for only $274.  What if they’d quoted $298 and it came out to $322?  A few dollars aren’t a big deal but it leaves an impression.  Psychologically, we feel better when the cost is a little below the estimate than a little above.  Think about this the next time you’re making a commitment.  Under promising and over performing can enhance your reputation.