So there I am…perusing the mail after a week away on a business trip, and I notice a priority mail envelope from the State Department.

My first thought was…my Passport renewal is back.

Then I immediately thought…NO WAY!

US Passports are good for 10 years, and this was the year I needed to renew mine. I was dreading it…not because I needed it anytime soon, but because our government has a reputation of taking a very long time to do things. In fact, they offer an expedited service for passport renewal if you need it within 6 weeks. They even dedicate a full page on their website to deal with expedited passport information:

They clearly define expedited as anything less than 6 weeks. By doing that they set the expectation with the “routine” service customer that you will receive your passport in 6 weeks or greater.

So there I am standing in my kitchen, literally counting the days from the time I sent it out. I’m not kidding you when I tell you that I mailed my renewal out on Saturday September 22nd. Standard first class mail. My new passport was issued on October 1, and was to me just 2 days later.


One of the ways that you can Over Deliver in your business is to deliver on your promises BEFORE your client, partner, or contact expect you to. When you do this, you hit them with Surprise as well! Delivering one day before your deadline won’t do it. You want to ensure that you are really knocking this out of the park with an impressive turnaround time, and still nailing the quality.

Think about the impact of me getting my passport renewed so quickly only to open the envelope to find someone else’s. That would not be good and it would immediately result in a lack of trust. Lucky for me, this did not happen.

As I write this blog today, I am still amazed that the Federal Government of the United States was able to get their Passport processing service so streamlined that I got my renewal in under 14 days.

Just absolutely amazed.

Well done!

What can you do in your business as it relates to deliverables and timelines? Can you show up early? Can you dig in on the process and find a way to improve that to deliver earlier? I’d love to hear what you are doing and how you can improve that. Feel free to contact me! I look forward to hearing from you!