Are You Guilty Of Setting Uncommunicated Expectations?

If there’s one area that I’ve seen leaders fail in time and again, it’s in setting clear expectations. The expectations leaders typically have for their teams are uncommunicated.

You know the ones… These are the expectations we set in our minds but never let those we’re leading know about.

Clear expectations are a must in leadership

My Unspoken Expectations

We can have these moments in all areas of my life. One of the areas I’ve done this in is my marriage.

When Pam and I first got married, I loved to fish. And I loved to eat fish.

But there was one thing I hated to do: Cleaning the fish.

I had an uncommunicated expectation for this as well. I would catch the fish. I would bring the fish home. Pam would clean the fish.

It was never explicitly stated, but it’s the scenario that ran through my head.

Setting The Example

Leaderships is influence. We must be able to inspire others to action.

There are leaders out there who constantly wonder what they can do to garner this action.

What must they do to see their teams respond? What must be said to see action? What must be done for results?

Do what needs to be done, set the example

This Stormtrooper knows how to set the example – Image by JD Hancock

In my experience, there’s one thing that will inspire others to take action. To go the extra mile. To bleed for the company.

What is this one thing leaders can do? It’s setting the example.

What Does It Mean To Set The Example?

Guys, this is fairly easy to figure out. Realizing what setting the example is doesn’t take a lot of work.

Setting the example means showing your team what needs to be done. In all you do, show off the traits of a model employee.

What To Do When You Fail To Meet Expectations

It’s going to happen. One day you’re going to let someone down.

This letdown may be your coworkers, your boss, your spouse, your parents, or some other important person in your life. The truth of the matter is you’re going to disappoint them at some point.

We all do it. We might as well be open and honest about this truth. Once we’re honest with ourselves, we can create a plan of action for what we can do when we fail to meet expectations.

Whenever we let someone down, there’s the pang of guilt. We know we didn’t uphold our end of the bargain. The ball was dropped. We were a disappointment.

We’ll often scramble to create an excuse as to why we failed to meet the expectations someone had for us. We’ll throw out excuses. We’ll blame others. We’ll clam up.

What Are You Expecting As A Leader?

Have you ever worked within a youth group? It’s an amazing experience. Teenagers and students bring such varied personalities to the table you never know what to expect.

One day everything is sunshine and roses. The next it’s doom and gloom.

It’s hard to keep your expectations positive at times.

I know this isn’t something that’s only experienced when working with youths. Adults can be just as finicky and have the same kind of mood swings.

Yet I think having positive expectations is key to leading well.

Having positive expectations changes situations. It changes people.

My wife and I have seen it first hand in dealing with the students in our youth group.

After having a rough night with the students, our expectations can easily drop. Then, when we come back the following week, we’ve brought those expectations with us.