We're all too familiar with the saying, "Under-promise, and over-deliver." It stands among the axioms we accept without question, such as "the customer is always right" and "the early bird catches the worm." However, I'm inclined to challenge conventional wisdom.

In my view, this adage cultivates a culture of mediocrity. It's a tacit endorsement to set the bar low and then exult in barely exceeding it. This mindset implicitly endorses the reserve of true potential. In essence, under-promising is a vow to aim low.

When organizations under-promise to their clientele, team, or investors, they're essentially clipping their own wings. Such cautious pledges are just an invitation for innovative upstarts or eager rivals to swoop in and claim your market share. If you under-promise as an individual, you may receive temporary commendation for meeting modest expectations, but you won't be carving your name into the annals of history. The names we celebrate centuries later are not those of the under-promisers.

So, ditch the modest-over-modest mantra and adopt a new creed: Overpromise.

Step forward boldly, with audacity. Aspire to achievements that challenge your current capabilities but promise immense satisfaction for your patrons or peers upon fulfillment. Set your sights not on delivering the mundane but on vying for the extraordinary. Don't settle for mediocrity when the podium is within reach. Instead, extend past the boundaries of your comfort zone. Aim for solutions, insights, and achievements that are remarkable. That make a difference.

Committing to an overpromise ignites a potent drive to fulfill it. Producing average results after an under-promise is commonplace. But you are capable of standing proud with accomplishments that hold deeper significance. An overpromise invites enchantment and ingenuity, challenging old views and elevating your capabilities. Seize the chance to confound skeptics and realize your vision.

History's most significant feats stem from those who dared to over-promise. We celebrate trailblazers like Galileo, da Vinci, Mozart, Martin Luther King Jr., Jobs, and Edison for setting lofty aspirations and then relentlessly striving to realize them.

Take a lesson from race car driver Peter Brock's book: “Bite off more than you can chew, and then chew like hell.” Embrace the challenge. Overpromise.

Share this post