Promises, Promises

In Tribes, Seth Godin writes:  “When your brand makes promises it can’t keep, your overworked staff bears the brunt.”

This happens all the time.  A leader “crosses his fingers,” stands up and makes a promise, and then heads off to a golf course or an office somewhere to hide from the masses.

As Captain Hook, from Peter Pan, would say . . . “Bad form!”

Great leaders don’t make promises unless they know the team can deliver.  They protect the most valuable resource available to them, their staff.

Are you a promise maker, a promise breaker, or a promise keeper?

Ask your customers and ask your staff.  Believe me, they know.

Master a few things and deliver on them every time.  Doing so will ensure a satisfied customer base and a loyal group of employees.



What happens when a leader fails to deliver on her promises?

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Russell Brown

10 years ago

Read yesterday for the answer 🙂 If a team can’t trust it’s leader, than they will start to bail ship, find a better boss. A great job can become really bad, really fast with the addition of a bad boss, where also a mediocre job can become awesome with the addition of of a great boss.
Personally in addition, I love a boss who isn’t afraid to ‘get dirty’ when the time calls for it. When the going gets rough, they roll up their sleeves to fulfill the mission along side you. In any line of work, not just church work. In ‘we were soliders, there was more promised than could be delivered’ and yet General Moore lead so passionately that men were willing to lay their lives for the cause.


10 years ago

Beautiful comment Russ!


10 years ago

Theres not a worse feeling then someone promising something and then not delivering on the promises especially if you are the one whom has to bear the brunt of the person not making good on his promises to whomever he has promised things too. It actually goes beyond just that however because its dangerous to make promises and not deliver because then you risk your reputation and even damaging the very organization of what you are going out there and trying to do some good for in the first place. I am talking in my case regarding a food drive and the church as the organization. I think its better to be honest with people and keep the expectations low and that way then if you can happen to go above and beyond and make something happen then thats an added bonus and the people will respect and appreciate it more then making promises and then not delivering on them. People should be treated how we ourselves want to be treated after all….. Jesus is our example of how we should live and conduct our lives and whilst we dont always make those standards, we should at least be trying to get in his shadow.


10 years ago

Right on Adam! I like the idea of over delivering.

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