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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Setting expectations for high levels of performance.

IMG_0371Some have said, “keep your expectations low and you’ll never be disappointed”.  I think that’s poor advice somebody read on a t-shirt.  As a leader, you must set expectations and yes, they may need to be set high.  It’s a critical part of influencing teams to high levels of performance and accomplishing tough goals.  You can set high expectations, as long as you do it properly.

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This isn’t what I thought it would be…


My job was pretty disgusting. The first time I became a lead person was about 20 years ago. I worked in a facility that laundered hospital scrubs and linens. Think about that, dirty hospital sheets and towels. Let your imagination run wild and I guarantee you won’t be able to think of how nasty this place could get. I’ll spare you the details. Anyway, I worked here because Continue reading “This isn’t what I thought it would be…”