Ask for advice from the wise and ancient mentors in any organization and you will likely hear among their pearls: “Always underpromise and overdeliver.” Those wise enough to heed this advice reap respect from those who lead them.
Leaders understand there are always unforeseen obstacles and delays. They appreciate when team members assume there will be snags along the way. By underpromising, we allow ourselves the wiggle room to account for problems that will invariably arise. This also limits placing an undue burden on a team to deliver when it would be nearly impossible to do so.
Overdelivering on those promises is what leaders look for in talented colleagues. Exceeding expectations is a hallmark of quality. The best performers always aim to do more than what they said they would do. That’s what distinguishes good from great. Few truisms are as popular as "underpromise and overdeliver" for a reason. Some ideas are worth a strong reminder.