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The Power of Great Expectations

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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?

What happens when expectations go wrong?
Filed Under:   Results & Execution
 
 
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt is a leadership speaker, consultant, and MBA professor. She's a former Verizon Wireless executive with two decades of diverse cross-functional experience in sales, customer service and HR. Karin was named as a top 100 Thought Leader in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America. She is author of, "Overcoming an Imperfect Boss: A Practical Guide to Building a Better Relationship With Your Boss." Karin knows the stillness of a yogi, the reflective road of a marathoner and the joy of being a mom raising emerging leaders.
 

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What People Are Saying

Steve Borek   |   12 March 2013   |   Reply

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.

letsgrowleaders   |   12 March 2013   |   Reply

Steve, amen.

Eric   |   12 March 2013   |   Reply

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).

letsgrowleaders   |   12 March 2013   |   Reply

Eric, I love it when you enhance the conversation. It is more tricky when those we love are involved. I feel that too. I think we chose people who stretch us.

Eric Dingler (@EricDingler)   |   13 March 2013   |   Reply

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.

letsgrowleaders   |   14 March 2013   |   Reply

Eric, thanks as always. Expectations with freedom to fail is such a powerful combination.