Why one CEO says it's always better to underpromise and overdeliver

Alexandra Wilkis WilsonGetty Images/Katy WinnGlamsquad CEO Alexandra Wilkis Wilson says she would rather her employees underpromise and overdeliver.

Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, CEO of on-demand beauty business Glamsquad, highly values productivity.

She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a master’s from Harvard Business School, learned five languages, and cofounded two companies — Glamsquad and luxury flash sales company Gilt Groupe.

That’s why it comes as little surprise that she tells The New York Times’ Adam Bryant her No. 1 pet peeve is the antithesis of productivity: procrastination.

“I don’t like procrastinating. I like people to be organised and punctual,” she says.

Wilson says procrastinating can lead to being unprepared — like when employees show up to a meeting without their analysis.

“I get frustrated when people don’t follow through,” Wilson says. “If I assume that someone’s going to be doing something and then I find out that they haven’t done it, that’s very frustrating to me.”

Rather than overestimating your ability to follow through and showing up unprepared, Wilson says you should do the opposite: “I have so much respect for people who underpromise and overdeliver.”

Read the full New York Times interview here.

Disclosure: Kevin Ryan and Dwight Merriman, the founders of Gilt Groupe, are investors in Business Insider.

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