My parents did what millions of Americans have done in recent decades. Their goal was to reserve a 10 foot truck to move a king-sized mattress. So they call a popular rental company (I'll refrain from giving the name, but if e-mailed, may share) and placed their reservation. When the time came for them to pick up the truck, they called the day before just to confirm and they were told "THERE WAS NO TRUCK FOR THEM."
You can imagine their surprise and frustration. As they inquired how this could be, they were told that their reservation only reserved a rate, not the truck itself. SERIOUSLY!?! A rate couldn't move a mattress set 100 miles away. Talk about UNDER-DELIVERING!!!
As they shared their story, I also thought about my roles in life. Are there times when Over Promise and the Under-Deliver? As a dad, do I promise and then not deliver. As a husband, do I make good on my "I'll get to it!" promises. As a pastor who's church tries to deliver week-in and week-out... Do we "make good" on delivering what we say we provide.
How can we be sure to Deliver what we Promise?
1. Know your Role:
Every role in life requires something different from me. For instance, if my wife asks me to pick up the dry cleaning for her, no big deal. However, if someone from my church make the same or similar request... Red Flag. Why? Not because I don't love those in my church, but rather because my role/relationship with them is different. Knowing and clarifying your roles will help you only promise and then only deliver what's is needed.
2. Know your Priorities
: For each of my roles, I have actually mapped out what many have called "Critical Success Factors
" of CSF. These are the activities that are vitally important for you to DO that no one else can do for you. They determine your success in your roles. One example would be my roles as a parent. A CSF for me is to "Pray with each of my children in bed each night." As a pastor, a current CSF listed is to Personally Develop Leaders (current & future). Knowing what your CSF are in your different roles provides clarification for what you want to "deliver" and what you're willing to promise to do.
3. Know your Purpose
: My father-in-law is know for always coming up with silly sayings. One has stuck with me from early on, "God loves you, and everyone else has a purpose for you." I'm not sure if he even remembers saying it, but has stayed in my minds these 16+ years. It speaks of expectations. Everyone know what they want you to do for them, but only you (with God) can determine your purpose. I've never had a problem with a boss or authority giving direction or responsibility, but what does cause problems is reverse (or peer) delegation. Knowing #2 (your priorities) will help with this as well.
4. Know your Limitations
: This is one that I struggle with the most. I would like to think I don't have any limitations, but I've learned the folly of this thinking and acting. It is actually quite damaging to yourself and those around you. A book that helped me a lot was Choosing to Cheat
, by Andy Stanley. The basic premise is that when you over-promise, someone is going to be cheated. By our decisions we determine who. To para-phrase Andy's decision, he determined at the beginning of his church that if he had to choose to cheat either his family or the church with his time, he would choose to cheat the church. This meant that his family (and that of his staff) would not make ministry-martyrs of their families. Knowing and setting your limits provides peace for you and those in your life.
Now, back to my parents dilemma.
My Mom know that the same person that was giving this frustrating news, was also the same person that could help her find a solution. She patiently (& kindly) persisted. Although reluctant in the beginning, the company did find her a truck in another location. They even added extra miles to the allotted mileage so my parents wouldn't be charged extra.
I've always had success with U-Haul, and after my parents experience with another company, I won't be switching anytime soon. After all, who wants to reserve a rate?
Oh Yah, my wife and I are enjoying that pillow-top king mattress just fine.
Labels: purpose, Success