High expectations can be bad. Ask my wife…

IMG_0523You ever hear people say, “keep your expectations low and you’ll never be disappointed”.  I’ve always thought that was a pretty simplistic worldview.  One that if abused, would lead to an average existence.  I’ve also heard people say, “keep your expectations high”, “keep pushing”, “never give up”, “your dreams will fail if you let them”, “sleep is for losers” and my personal favorite, “winners win and losers lose”.  On most days, I totally buy into this thought pattern.  However this mindset, when used cavalierly, can be detrimental as well.  The trick is timing and perspective.  Unfortunately, I learned this lesson the hard way.

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Are your expectations causing issues?

IMG_0502We all have expectations. My expectations are probably too high at times. It’s causing issues and came to a head yesterday. Normally, I would think of this as something bad or negative about the person or group that doesn’t measure up.  For example, if people describe what they do as going “above and beyond” and in my mind they are only accomplishing the base expectation, it makes me think this person or group is lazy, which 9 times out of 10 is not the case. I can’t go on like this and expect to lead effectively.  I’m not exactly sure what to do, but here’s where I’m at with it.

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Boss in the middle misses the mark at home. Prayer challenge day 1 wrap-up.

IMG_0427So, technically I passed my challenge.  Pray for ten minutes at the beginning of the day and see what happens.  I wrote a post afterwards, which you can read on my website.  Quick summary of the post, God answered my prayer right away and told me to make sure to mind my behavior today because I haven’t had much sleep.  I decided to stay quiet and just get through the day.  I could do that!  I was so proud of myself.  I figured, today is gonna be easy!  Little did I know, that was only the beginning.

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Sometimes, you need to take a time-out.

IMG_0417During conflicts, a boss in the middle must know when to say “time-out”.  There’s a point when arguing your point (even if you’re right) only works to further aggravate the situation.  There are many other benefits to discontinuing an argument.

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Stop failure before it happens.

IMG_0396As bosses in the middle, we believe that everyone can do their very best, every day. Part of that belief encompasses another belief, that every issue has a solution. Even though these two things are true, from time to time, we fail. Why? We believe that it’s because people aren’t thinking critically in crucial situations. Every incident investigation I have ever done into a system failure, has some form of human error factored in. Most of the time, it’s communication or the lack of communication. We can’t predict every possible scenario that may happen during a project, but we can teach people how to think through these issues. By empowering our teams and setting expectations, we believe we can get to the core of setbacks before they happen.

We believe this is accomplished through full engagement in the task, while remaining aware of potential obstacles.

I’ll offer 3 things that we as leaders must tell our teams, in order to set the expectation and influence the type of behavior we want to see.

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All words matter.

IMG_0379If a father says to his daughter, “you’re beautiful”, she believes it. If he tells his son, “you can do it”, the son also believes. In both cases, if they trust the parent, the children normally won’t ask a lot of questions. Read on to see the opposite effect.

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They only had one job…

img_0350Their chain of communication only had one task to accomplish. Get the name of the winner to the people on stage, so it could be read on live television in front of millions of people. I’m sure there were a lot of steps and people utilized to make this happen. Time and energy was spent crafting a plan and it was put into motion. They had completed the task multiple times already, so they should have had a good handle on how to do it. So how’d they mess up?

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