“Chickens are kinda on the fence when it comes providing a great breakfast…pigs are all-in.” – Gene De Libero
Expectations are a powerful thing. Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t help but amp up unreasonably high expectations for holidays like Christmas, or summer vacation? It almost didn’t matter what ended up happening on the actual day. The excitement and anticipation that led up to a party almost always ended up being even more enjoyable than the event itself.
In business, expectations are often associated with less enthusiastic words than Christmas. Often we think of words like “shattered, disappointed, failure, waste, etc.”
Why? Why are we so often left feeling like we could’ve had a better or more fulfilling experience? Often times, that unsatisfied feeling can be directly tied to unrealistic or incorrect expectations. Further, much of the confusion and disappointment is directly tied to the performance (or lack thereof) of people.
The problems begin when we expect people to behave differently or to produce more than their comfort or skill level. One example might include a startup leaning heavily on a young and ambitious coder to also behave as a Director of Growth. The employee may have some of the skills needed to drive awareness, but may not have the interest required to put in the work. Conversely, there may be a less-skilled sales or marketing employee who is willing to work tirelessly to spread the message of the brand. He’s a pig. Bacon is a natural by-product of his work.
When leaders get overly captivated by their own vision, they may lose sight of their team’s (or a vendor’s team’s) defining purpose and arsenal of abilities. If this happens, hurt feelings and empty promises are sure to follow. Instead, empower your employees and teams to play to their strengths. Fight to bring in the talent that aligns with your vision, and remember to include your team in adopting the vision as their own.
Do all of this, and I promise you – breakfast will be delicious…and you may even let yourself get excited about the possibilities once again.