My Expectation is Your Potential
If hear I have high expectations and I might need to lower them, one more time…I might just blog about it!
How about you? Are you one of those go-getters, thought leaders, always pushing the envelope of what can be done for yourself and your team?
When I was in 5th grade, my teacher at the time, Mrs. Hawk (shout out to all the great teachers in the world!) called my parents in for a conference and told them that if I didn’t learn to make mistakes and let some things go, I was going to suffer an ulcer at an early age. Now, I should tell you that I did not have parents who were pushing me, they had no idea why I was so driven. I was born in the early 70’s and let’s just say that there were things that happened in my household growing up that may not have been of the legal sort. My parents were hippies and way more concerned about their own growing up than me achieving an ‘A’ in shape of a letter. So, my drive was internal, intrinsic and self-motivated.
Fast forward, it took me a lot of years and a lot of time and money in counseling (which would be funny if it weren’t true) to learn how to drive with realistic expectations of myself. How to have fun and let go when needed. But I won’t apologize for my intrinsic drive and I won’t stop trying to be better today than yesterday. This blog isn’t about me though and how I learned that but how does that affect my leadership today?
I’ve been told that I have “high-expectations” and that is true, sort of. The height of the expectation is dependent upon you. Not because I expect my team members to be like me or you or any other thought-leader out there. I have come to realize that my expectation for each team member is his or her own potential.
When I get new team members, I like to spend time with them and understand what makes them tick and adjust my communications to what they need. I take copious notes on each one; this one needs to talk, this one needs to be acknowledged, this one needs recognition, this one is task oriented and wants to know what to do, this one just wants to earn the ‘A’. All of this and much more for each team member. Once I understand who they are and what they need, I then ask a lot of questions about what do they want to do and be? If they could do any job in the world, even if it wasn’t with this company, what would it be and when would you be doing it? When you ask these questions you also get a feel for where to push and what their personal goals are. Then I set out to lead them down the path to their success. Not mine but what I see they can do and I see potential in every single person. I believe in where you’re headed, often more than you believe it for yourself and it drives me to do all I can to help you get there. If I can show you how you can reach your potential and you do it, then yes, you’ve met my expectations. If I can see your potential and you aren’t walking out what it takes to get there, if you are self-sabotaging, then no, you haven’t met my expectations. Simple as that, it’s not about me, it’s about you and your potential.
You see, I know where I came from and where I am today and don’t take that for granted for one minute. I know that the people in my life, the books I’ve read, the podcasts I’ve listened to, and how I’ve handled the struggles I’ve gone through; all have shaped me, grown me, stretched me and helped me to daily reach my potential. And none of that was comfortable, none of it was fun at the moment, well actually, there were a few roller coasters business moments that were fun, but they have all been worth the ride!
So the next time someone is pushing you, stretching you, helping you to grow and you think, ”He/She has such high expectations.” Maybe think to yourself instead, they see that much potential in me!