07 December 2006

Leadership and your own expectations

If we take a honest look at ourselves, we see that we have expectations of everything and everyone around us. For example we expect our employees to do their work and realize the vision, mission and goals of the organization. The vision, mission and goals are again expectations of what the organization can achieve, as they have not yet been realized. In essence we expect to carry out our vision, to realize our mission and reach our goals. But is that what really happens? If we look at how many companies have a vision, but never achieve a workforce, where every employee carries the vision, you should start wondering.
So what is the use of expectations, if they do not become real?
Maybe the most important thing about, expectations is not to make them external. You should not expect others to realize your goals, or you could say your expectations. In a sense, the only thing you can expect of others is that their expectations are the same as yours. Or even better, their expectations go beyond yours and support yours
If you really expect others to realize the expectations you have from yourself, those expectations are no longer yours.

But why is it so important to realize your own expectations? Because your expectations energize you. They give direction to your live, based on you subconscious knowledge of your talents. But they also give the motivation, to stay motivated in any situation. Take this quantitative expectation some people have.
- I expect to have enough money, within ten years, to make it possible to travel the world.
Such an expectation can even be realized by cleaning buildings for ten years. If you keep your expectation in sight, you will succeed, while doing all kinds of other fun stuff. And by keeping the expectation in sight, you will endure ten years of cleaning buildings. (By the way, I expect that cleaning buildings is dull and tedious work).
But why do I call this an expectation and not a goal? Because a goal is something that seems to stand outside yourself. It is something that can lead to disappointment, if for example it is not reached. A goal is also something people like te use to settle scores. An expectation however is something, that leaves room for all those strange things that happen to people. Lets be honest, who would have expected forty years ago, that hypertext would become important and you could become a multimillionaire using it. Besides most people who now are multimillionaire thanks to internet, probably never expected that that would happen. They probably expected that they would be having fun with using their knowledge of and skills for internet.