While visiting with a client this morning, she told the tale of a Regional VP who had been recruiting new sales executives while representing the company as "a fair, just, great place to work where there are no surprises and goals are always set democratically and with management participation".
Well guess what happened on the way to Q3?
You guessed it. The Board got antsy and issued a number that was sky-high for Q3. Presto...Regional VP is betrayed and feels like she's been lying to her peeps.
The RVP will get through this, yet with some amount of pain and adjustments to be made. First, there is no business on earth that doesn't go through this, especially fast/emerging growth companies. The lesson is to be careful how you communicate to your team and your recruits. Use words very carefully. But most importantly, be realistic about life. Sometimes the quarterly numbers make you smile, 'cuz you know "you got this"! Sometimes a ton of brick falls on your heads. It happens.
Communicate with your team even more now. Be honest, yet know that in the future you're going to have to be more measured in how you talk (and think) about your business. Don't lose your enthusiasm, just gain some perspective and humility.