How do you handle implicit promises that are broken through the evolution of vision?
"I don't make promises." Nearly everyone in my life has heard that from me. I'm a firm believer that you say what you're going to do, or not do, and then follow through. Keep your word. Yeah, it's a bit old-school, and maybe even a semantic argument, but I feel like the word "promise" should be serious and not used casually (for the record, there are 2 people that hold promises from me so I DO make them, just really, really, really judiciously). I never wanted to be the guy that heard the disappointed cry of "You promised!" from my kids, co-workers, or friends; so I don't make them. But I do what I say.
In leading a company, we paint a vision for where we are heading. With that vision come expectations and these are often felt as implicit, or even explicit, promises by those who choose to join us on the journey. As we move towards a vision often things change; people grow, opportunities arise, and clarification or understanding is gained. So how do you handle implicit promises that are broken through the evolution of vision?
Be honest about what's changed.
Be clear about the new direction.
Be ok with some opting-out.