Great Leaders Under-Sell and Over-Deliver

Have you ever followed a leader who “promised the moon” and delivered nothing more than a “Moon Pie”? How much did you trust that leader the next time a promise was made? Believe me, I had no trouble hearing your answer to that question; and, while each of you had a slightly different way of expressing it, it was resoundingly negative.

Great Leaders know that they have been given the privilege of leading teams of highly talented, extremely capable, individuals. They also know that their own credibility is going to be key in helping the team deliver its very best efforts. The Great Leader knows that he/she must be honest and tell the team the truth. Here are three rules that Great Leaders abide by …

  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep – Nothing undermines a leader’s credibility than failing to keep promises. Great Leaders don’t make promises unless they are in a position to make sure the promise is kept. Great Leaders don’t say, “I promise you it will happen”. Rather, the Great Leader says, “I won’t promise you that this will happen; but, I DO promise you that I will do everything in my power to make it happen.”
  • Always tell the truth – A leader’s credibility will be destroyed when he/she is caught telling lies. Telling the truth can be uncomfortable, particularly when it shows culpability in failure; failure to deliver a product; failure to develop and implement a project; failure to keep a promise. Great Leaders know that making excuses and trying to shift the blame won’t work. They understand that they must tell the truth and accept full responsibility for their actions … or inactions.
  • Deliver more than “just enough” – Great Leaders know that “good enough” is never good enough. They understand that “squeaking by” is bound to disappoint even the most ardent supporter. Great Leaders advocate delivering “above and beyond” expectations; and, they go out of their way to make sure that they do go above and beyond what others expect from them.

How do you go “above and beyond” in the performance of your leadership duties? Click “Comment” to share your thoughts.

Tom Hoisington is a speaker, trainer, and author whose goal is to provide leaders and potential leaders with tools that empower them to build teams that are creative and cost effective along with a clearer understanding of how personality types interact within those teams. He can be contacted at