As we approach the holidays, how about giving a gift to yourself that will pay dividends in your business and life? What if you were a person who surprises others every day? You can do this by not committing to things you are not required to.
When you see a need or can solve a problem, don’t proclaim what you can do. All you have done is obligated yourself and now have to fulfill. And the clock is ticking. Your reputation is on the line.
If you do commit and fulfill, isn’t that merely expected? That’s not very remarkable. It’s dull. You’re playing defense. And such a common pattern of talking before doing can get you into trouble from missed expectations to firings by customers and bosses.
Be a person of surprise. It’s far more exciting to your recipients when they experience the unexpected. You have to have two qualities:
Self-control to keep your mouth in check in your eagerness to win praise.
Action-orientation to move quickly and decisively with precision on what needs to be done.
Imagine the gift you give yourself with self-control and action-orientation. You are not playing from behind. You lead by delighting with your ideas, gestures and work to meet what is lacking for others.
So when you catch yourself starting a sentence, “I’m gonna …” stop immediately. Instead get started on the first step. Show don’t tell. You’ll be giving yourself a gift by freeing you up from expectations and winning by delivering.