If you checked into a Ritz Carlton today I would suspect you would have high expectations of what your experience is going to be like. I would also suspect that if you checked into a Holiday Inn Express that immediately your expectations would be lower.
Let’s pretend you decided to get out of the business you are in today and go to work at a Ritz Carlton or a Holiday Inn Express. The expectations you would have going to work at the Ritz are going to be a lot higher than at the Express.
Even though you’re the same person and you would like to think you are always going to perform at your top capacity it is very likely that in short order your performance at Express is going to a be lot lower than at the Ritz.
I heard a great quote recently and it goes like this, "You should go to work for a company that has high expectations." I like that, I like that a lot. So, let’s turn it around. You should hire people who you have high expectations of and you should reinforce your expectations on a daily basis.
Most of my readers are in the business of selling something, be it cars, real estate, insurance, software, advertising or whatever. Tangible or intangible, everybody’s selling something. If nothing else, you are always selling yourself and/or your ideas to someone.
As a leader in your organization you are responsible for helping to raise the expectations of yourself and those around you.
If you accept a sales person selling 6 cars a month I’m thinking you’re gonna get a lot of 6 car sales people. What you are willing to accept has now become the standard expectation.
If you accept the used car department selling 75 cars a month then that’s what you’re gonna get. You might be wishing for 100 but everyone in the store knows your real expectation is 75 so you hover around 72 to 77 and that’s it. Everyone goes away happy. Sorta.
There is a direct relationship between expectations and the way people are treated. If they are treated well they generally will perform well. Why do the workers at Chick-fil-A perform better than those at Burger King? Because management treats them better. They go to work at Chick-fil-A knowing full well what the expectations are.
The same at the Ritz, the same at Apple, the same at Starbucks, and as I often say, the list goes on and on.
Management’s fault is that it often takes an approach of "It is what it is; we are a victim of the market so let’s just do the best we can." Never let doing the best you can be your rev limiter.
People will stretch themselves to achieve the level of expectations that have been set. Every leader should seek to create and build high expectations to improve the performance of everyone in an organization.
People will respond when challenged in a positive way and rewarded with positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement includes training, praise, celebrating results and acknowledging individual and company successes.
Raising expectations starts with "Walking the walk, not talking the talk." That’s all I’m gonna say. Tommy Gibbs