Three Ways to Leverage Expectations for Growth

Donna White

Donna White

By Donna White, Principal Consultant and Owner of Legacy Consulting Services and Legacy Billing Solutions in Montgomery, Alabama.

If you’re a leader, you probably have a drive in you to do things with excellence. You also probably have a specific perspective of what “right” looks like, and high expectation for things to be done in that right way. For leaders, this is a great and valuable thing. Knowing what you expect of your team, and your team knowing what is expected of them is essential to growth and a happy team.
It’s important that we keep this “right” perspective centered as it can have detrimental effects if the pendulum swings too far in one direction. If we move too much towards overvaluing the right perspective, we can become manipulative and controlling. If we undervalue it, we can become aloof and disconnected. Finding the center between expecting what’s right can make all the difference in how and when your organization grows.
So the question becomes: how do we stay centered in our perspective and expectations?

Challenge your default.
For many of us as leaders, our cause of being uncentered usually has to do with our default mentality. Some of us are incredibly graceful to ourselves and to a fault. Some of us don’t have enough grace for ourselves, holding ourselves to a standard that no person can meet and expecting perfection. If we can’t learn to develop in ourselves centeredness in our perspective and expectations, we will not be able to project that centeredness to other people.
Today, challenge your default. Do you need more grace? Maybe even less?

Know when to extend grace.
One of the most valuable gifts you can give your team is the gift of grace. This means letting them off the hook if they don’t hit a deadline or don’t execute the way you hoped they would. When leaders don’t extend grace, teams get discouraged, fearful, and insecure. Grace is important for us as leaders because it gives people room to take risks and fail. Without grace, teams won’t feel safe to bet the farm occasionally on something they really believe in.
Another bonus of grace: grace goes both ways. When we give grace, our team typically does the same for us as well. In fact, this is a powerful leadership principle in general, that leaders who live and lead through scarcity create people who live and think scarcely, and those who live and lead through generosity create people who live and think generously. Be generous with grace today. You’ll thank yourself for it.

Establish your negotiables.
If we want to stay centered, it means establish what are negotiables and non-negotiables for us. Showing up late to a meeting one time? Grace can be given for that. Showing up late to a meeting consistently without concern or good reason? That’s a non-negotiable. Staying centered means knowing what we can and can’t compromise on. A tip for this: when it comes to people, err on the side of having grace. When it comes to values and convictions, err on the side of staying grounded.

What do you need to do today to stay centered in our expectations and perspective?

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