The Sound of Silence - Good Song, Bad for Business
The whole "it's better to beg forgiveness than ask permission" thing...I don't buy it.
At least not in business.
Because while you're off doing your thing & not communicating the other person is left to fill in the blank with why you didn't show up, didn't deliver, didn't follow through or otherwise do the thing they expected you to.
And they may or may not fill in the blank with generous assumptions about you.
It's so much better to manage expectations, to be honest, & to COMMUNICATE what's going on with you than let the silence lengthen.
It's not about asking permission (unless you've still got a boss).
It's about saying, "Hey, this is what we agreed. But despite my best intentions, superhuman efforts, & all the caffeine on the planet it's not going to happen on time. I'm really sorry about that. Here's an update of where the project is at so far. And here's when I KNOW it will get finished."
Everyone hates to write those emails.
We all try to build enough cushion into a project so it never happens.
But sometimes it's a brand new offering & you underestimate how long it will take.
Sometimes it's a brand new client & things get lost in translation.
And sometimes...life happens.
A professional knows things won't go smoothly EVERY time. But you still take the lead, own it & communicate BEFORE the deadline...always.