Wednesday, June 17, 2009

deliver on expectations

Last weekend I headed down to Harbourfront Centre to catch the free Cirque du Soleil performance as part of Luminato. The crowd was large and expectations high. And then a few acrobats splashed around in the pond.

The performance that Cirque delivered was so low key, the audience didn't know when it was over. We all sat there waiting for the next act for about half an hour before someone thought to make an announcement. "Hope you enjoyed the show. See you tomorrow."

Everyone expected more. Not only does Cirque have a well-deserved reputation for delivering fabulous shows, but the setup for this show in particular led us (well, at least me) to believe there was more to come. The "stage" props included, among other things, a trampoline and a boat that were never used. (Though word has it they made cameos in the Sunday show; I say Friday's performance.)

This failure to deliver is one of my greatest pet peeves as a magazine reader: If you're selling me something on the cover, you'd better make sure I find it inside in sufficient quantity/quality to meet the expectations that you set up.

Likewise, be smart about how you sell yourself. You can stretch the truth about how good you are with deadlines, but miss that first one and your editor/boss will be more disappointed in you than had you said nothing about your ability to meet deadlines at all.

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