As a confessed perfectionist, ‘dropping the ball’ is something I have never liked to do. Delivering as promised and exceeding expectations have always been my motto, so it should be no surprise that many times I have compromised my own well-being trying to fulfill all my commitments.
As a young professional in Corporate America, I saw quite often how the bosses expected people to work insane hours, miss family celebrations, and disregard health altogether when we had to make a deadline. Doing all that to meet a big deadline was not a surprising thing, learning that the customer only got to see the offer a week later because he/she was on vacation when it was delivered, was.
From that time on, I have always questioned, Who is setting the expectation? Is it reasonable?, What’s the worst that can happen if it can’t be met?
Spending many years of my career in Sales, made me realize that there are very few circumstances that good communication can’t solve. 9 out of every 10 times I have asked a customer to grant more time to deliver a project, the customer has not had a problem with it, nor has it had a negative impact on the award process (except if we talk about public bidding processes, and then, you don’t sleep or bathe until that offer is delivered on time!).
If people know that you are trustworthy and you deliver on your commitments, they wouldn’t question you when the day comes and you are not able to come through.
Reflecting on our own “ball dropping” dynamic will tell us a whole lot about how we are living our day-to-day life. Are we overcommitting? Are we lacking motivation? Are we saying yes to things, just to go through the motions? Would love to read your thoughts on this, please share in the comments.