I tend to have high expectations, of myself and everyone else.
I was raised with expectations. I was the first child, and only son, of parents who thought for years they were not able to have children. My parents passed their high expectations on to me. I was expected to behave, expected to do well in school, expected to be a leader. Their expectations shaped the person I became.
I expect things to happen; growth and progress, results. I expect to make a difference, and expect explanations to make sense.
I expect people to say what they mean and mean what they say.
One day I realized that not only did I not do what I wanted to do, I did not even really think about what I wanted. It was not even a factor for me. I did what other people expected of me.
It was as if I had been asleep to myself, and was becoming awake.
My perspective changed as my understanding developed and deepened. It was not only other people’s expectations that were in my way, it was my own. My expectations were not standards or goals, they were challenges and obstacles.
It took me a lot of deep work to begin to get beyond my expectations.
I began to see that the leaders who inspire me do not allow expectations to stop them. They did not allow themselves to impose their expectations on me. They led from their true selves, not what was expected of them. They led by getting beyond the expectations that held them back.
For example, I worked on a team led by a woman who was a friend of mine, and saw how she connected deeply with each member. She did not allow her expectations to distract her.
I began learning how to lead from my true self as well.
What do you expect of yourself?
How do you lead beyond your expectations?
[Image by woodleywonderworks]