When I was on vacation with my husband a few weeks ago we ate at a Pei Wei Asian restaurant for the first time (the fast food version of PF Changs). The food was amazing and before we left, my husband grabbed two wrapped fortune cookies. Even though they call them fortunes, these days they are often words of wisdom. It is always fun when they say something meaningful. When I opened my cookie and read my fortune, I thought what great phrase to share! It said: “Always over-deliver and under-promise”. It means to exceed expectations, which is the cornerstone of becoming outstanding in the eyes of your employer or customers. If you are consistently exceeding expectations, people will take notice. This is the absolute key behavior to changing yourself from a high performer in the workplace to an outstanding performer. It is also the differentiator in your market if you are an entrepreneur.
Think back on an experience where someone else has exceeded one of your expectations. How did it feel to be on the receiving end? AMAZING! Our photographer consistently does this. When we order photos, (which are really expensive!) she gives them to us packaged up beautifully and always adds something extra that we did not order. It totally exceeds my expectations and next time I think of getting photos done I remember this and hire her!
Here are some ways to exceed expectations –
- Create something higher in quality
- Deliver consistently ahead of schedule
- Add something extra of value that wasn’t expected
- Offer to take on additional responsibility
- Provide value in ways that were not in the plan
We’ve all reaped the benefits of someone who has exceeded our expectations. Lets use those concepts to propel our careers forward! I would love to hear examples of how you have exceeded expectations.