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The Diary of Anne Ku
22 May 2000 Monday
The most valuable lesson I ever learned in my first job as a management consultant was the management of expectations. It is consistent with the theory of relativity, in that everything is relative to your expectations. If you let someone expect that you will finish in two days, but actually you deliver the next day, the person will think you are a fast worker. If you tell someone that you will finish the next day, and you deliver on-time, the person merely thinks that you've kept your promise. If you tell someone that you will deliver by the end of the day, but you deliver the finished work the following day, you will lose credibility.
Sales people are very good at this. If something is priced at 100 dollars, and they give you a 20% discount, you may feel more compelled to buy it than if it is 80 dollars and no discount.
When I asked my carpet store to bound the edges of the remnants of a new carpet I had ordered, the manager told me that I would have to pick it up when done. Although I told him that I didn't have the means to do so, he insisted that he did not deliver. After he had left several phone messages about the finished job, I called him finally to say that I would pay for delivery. Oddly enough, he volunteered to drop the carpet on his way home. What happened there?
This week I am going to be extremely busy attending the internet world exhibition, starting new projects, and meeting friends. If I get any free time at all, I would be absolutely delighted!! Such is management of my own expectations.