By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars
Humility, passion, empathy, determination and integrity might come to mind when you think of what makes a good leader. While those qualities are essential, another leadership trait that may be overlooked is one of great importance: setting high expectations. This is true for anyone in a leadership position. While leadership styles vary from person to person, the end goal is to raise the bar for your team to rise to the occasion. Whether you’re the CEO of a major company or a teacher in the classroom, setting expectations for your employees, students, followers and those reporting to you is vital.
Setting reasonable expectations helps leaders in successfully managing a team by holding everyone accountable. Entrepreneurs who have reached great success in their careers and lives have done so by setting and meeting various expectations. Our expectations become self-fulfilling, and each expectation can be broken into five major components across the board.
THE EXPECTATIONS ARE SET HIGHER THAN AVERAGE
Expectations that are set too high can cause distress and a lack of effort. For the vast majority of people, demanding and uninviting leaders may be less-than-motivational for some and results in the absence of your best effort. When you have a certain expectation for a person, project or generally how you want something to be done, it can be difficult when you neglect to communicate. There’s nothing wrong with setting high expectations for yourself and others, so long as you make the expectations clear, realistic and ultimately achievable.
THE BIG PICTURE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN DETAILS
Many entrepreneurs tend to be forward thinkers, naturally or by habit, focusing on the end game and how they will get to that point. These people can connect the dots while not allowing the bits and pieces to throw them for a loop. While having a vision is essential in business success, how you make it to that point is just as important. Uphold your vision and maintain expectations while ensuring your team values attention to detail.
LEADERS CAN BE UNREASONABLY DEMANDING OF THEMSELVES AND OTHER
While passion and determination are great motivators to get you where you want to go, they can leave a major bump in the road when your expectations are unrealistic. Demanding time and resources from your employees and team members without some form of acknowledgment can severely affect your operations.
Alternatively, demanding too much from yourself can lead to stress and a decrease in your quality of work. This might be second nature for some but being kinder to yourself and your team will allow for a more inviting atmosphere in the workplace.
EXPECTATIONS PROGRESS OVER TIME
Once you understand the way your employees meet your expectations and their personal goals, you can individually identify what does and does not work for each team member. Expectations progress when leaders take an overall look at how someone got from point A to point B successfully.
EXPECTATIONS BECOME INDIVIDUALIZED AND CLEARLY EXPRESSED
This is the most critical component of setting expectations. Specifically tailoring your expectations to each team member means you have a much better understanding with each other, recognizing where your employees thrive and how they can succeed. No two people are the same and how we reach success will look vastly different. Anyone in a leadership role needs to recognize these differences and tie their expectations to an understandable strategy.
When setting expectations, collaborate with your team and let their voice be heard. Low expectations lead to low performance, so it makes sense that high expectations lead to high performance. Managers, teachers, supervisors and anyone obtaining a leadership role should be challenged to find the balance for their employees, team members and followers.