Elusive Excellence – Over Promise and Over Deliver

Second in our series Elusive Excellence investigating the meaning behind our motto “Excellence is our Tradition”

Entrepreneur James Altucher in his article “10 Things Successful People Never Do” states that to succeed one must over promise and over deliver. Altucher says, “There are 3,000,000,000 employees on the planet and they are all under promising and most of them are under delivering.” Just think how we could change the way things are done if most of us changed our habits!

Over promising takes courage, it often means more work, time and responsibility. Over promising requires one to commit, without reservation, to complete a project or assignment on time, with quality, sufficient detail and the resolve to follow up if needed. Over promising is difficult because you know that to do the task or job well that you will have to devote your time and resources to keep your promise.

Over delivering takes creativity to go the extra mile to produce a product that fulfills the agreed upon requirements and something extra as well. The project requirements must be fulfilled but it is often the extra effort that was applied to the project that leads to success by showing that one cared enough to thoroughly complete the project and offer more than was required.

For Professors over promising and over delivering might be not just teaching ones specialty but also committing to developing the skills related to life-long learning, enquiry, critical thinking, analysis and the ability to prepare a well-researched and logically organized argument or discussion. For students over promising and over delivering could include questioning ideas and concepts that they are presented with, doing their own research into the topic, analyzing all the data and preparing assignments supported by credible sources that include their opinion based on the facts. Often opinions are based on previous experiences which certainly may have some merit but shows a lack of curiosity for deeper truths and ideas.

Over promise and over deliver requires additional effort, a commitment to something greater than oneself perhaps a commitment to excellence?

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