The Power of Great Expectations

It was March over a decade ago. I had just finished singing Amazing Grace and was headed down from the choir loft back to my pew. My Dad began the eulogy for my Grandma, who had died that week. He looked at his brothers and sisters in the first row and said, “I am thankful for expectations.”

Me too.

Sometimes we are told to expect less. Don’t listen. Some of my biggest successes have come just after I was warned to “lower my expectations.”

I was told not to expect…

  • to sell that product in my rural market
  • to get that job without direct experience
  • “them” to care as much as me
  • to make an impact too quickly
  • that kind of motivation to work in a union environment
  • the VP to wear that costume
  • those famous writers to respond to my email

Go beyond the expected.

Expect More

For Yourself

Expect bigger. It’s not too late. Chose the right influencers.

Thank others for their great expectations.

For Your Team

Teams thirst for challenge – not just “stretch” goals.

Expect more. Tell them what you expect. Expect magic.
Expect your team to BE better, not just achieve more.

For Your Family

Oh boy, here’s where it gets tricky. So much self-help literature says to let go of expectations. I’ll leave those posts to other bloggers. Like my Dad, I am grateful for expectations and possibilities.

Expect excellence, nurture talents, forgive failures, learn together.

How do you create powerful expectations?

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Posted in Results & Execution and tagged , , , .

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt, is CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders and a former Verizon Wireless executive. Karin was named on Inc.’s list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference, the American Management Association List of 50 Leaders to Watch, and as a Trust Across America Top Thought Leader in Trust. She’s the award-winning author of two books, Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results— Without Losing Your Soul, and Overcoming an Imperfect Boss. She’s regularly featured in business publications including Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and Inc.


  1. If you approach a team member in a way that they won’t meet your expectations, you’ve already compromised the relationship.

    Start everyone off with a grade of A.

  2. I agree- we should expect more- from ourselves and the people in our life (as long as those great expectations are for them and not for something I want out of them)! I’m fortunate enough to share my life with someone who supports me and challenges me to be a better person everyday and because of that belief, I often am- that’s powerful. After 12 years together she still expects me to put my socks in the hamper instead of next to the bed, but doesn’t hold it against me or resent me if I am just the same old me I’ve always been- knowing that is equally powerful (I read Lisa’s post too, thanks for the link).

  3. I’m on the same page. Expectations are the only things that have inspired me to move forward. Expectations I’ve had for myself and that others have had, and do have, for me.

    I have expectations for my team. I also give them permission to fail. Thus, they feel free to be innovative in reaching for expectations. When a failure happens, we dust everything off together, evaluate for lessons learned and go at it again.

  4. Pingback: 3 Lessons of the Expectant Leader - Let's Grow Leaders

  5. Pingback: Let's Grow Leaders | Inspired Leaders, Confident Humility, & Breakthrough Results | The Powerful Side Effect of High Standards

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