Why You Have to Expect A Lot (317)

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In this episode, I talk about expectations – why you have to expect a lot.

You hear a lot of people claim they don’t want pressure; they don’t want stress; they don’t want accountability in their lives.  I don’t believe it, and in this episode I talk about your role as the leader in managing the expectations of your team members.

Full transcript below.

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expectations, capabilities, weeds, belief, accomplish, work, episode, activate, happy, growth, leader, life, misalignment, authoritarian, grow, tools, person, buy, authentic, universally


Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta  00:09

Hey, everybody, welcome back to another Friday solo episode of the “How’d It Happen” Podcast, and I’m so happy to have you here. I am calling this episode “Why You Have to Expect a Lot.” Why you have to expect a lot. 

I hear a lot about what people don’t want these days. Everybody says these days as if it’s some different day than the other days, or that a different time in life. But anyway, I hear a lot about what people don’t want. I hear that they don’t want pressure, that they don’t want stress, and that they don’t want accountability. I hear that people just want to be happy. And hearing this can make you think that what people really don’t want is for anyone to have any expectations of them. It makes you think that people just don’t want any expectations of them at all. They just want to be left alone and figure it out. However it feels right for them. And you know what? I don’t buy it. Not for most people, not for a second. Don’t buy it. I’ve worked directly with hundreds of team members. And the one thing that I know for sure, for sure, is that most people want someone in their life that has higher expectations for them than they do, higher expectations than the person would otherwise have for themselves, or higher expectations than the other person’s family, friends, network would have for them. Why is that? Simple. 

It’s true that people want to be happy, even the ones who seem to always be miserable. But the best way to be happy is to accomplish things. Especially things you thought you couldn’t accomplish, or you thought you might not ever have the opportunity to accomplish. And expectations set the stage for these happy accomplishments. I’ve always thought about expectations as being like capabilities. Every person I’ve ever met, and ever worked with, has more capability in them the day we meet than they are aware of or are being asked to use, that’s what I believe. I believe that to be universally true. And they’re not happy about it. And they just don’t know what to do about it. And that’s why 

I always saw my job, and yours as the leader, the CEO, the founder, the boss, the manager, the parent, the teacher, the coach, or whatever you might call yourself. Your job, like mine, and my purpose and responsibility is to activate those capabilities, to bring them out, to manifest them to bring them to life. I activate capabilities with EXPECTATIONS. That’s how I activate capabilities — with expectations. I see my leadership responsibilities clearly. And simply. I need to make sure the expectations get planted, watered, fertilized and ultimately harvested. There’s got to be something valuable, autonomous and non-threatening in the expectation for the person or the team I’m working with. They can’t be threatened, they can’t feel threatened. They can’t feel like it’s my goal, only my goal, or it’s only my expectation. It has to be theirs. That’s what makes it the right kind of expectation and energy, a result or an accomplishment. That’s what we’re looking for. That’s what makes an expectation something that people rally around and want; it’s key. It might be a one-way street, and it can’t teeter on top of misalignment or unfair authoritarian objectives. Which are, it’s easy to do. It’s easy to, it’s easy to become authoritarian, especially if progress towards the expectation is slower than you want. You want to jump in there and you want to move it. Or you want to take over, take control. And that’s the kind of expectation that’s kind of matted and have an expectation that takes all the life out of people. It’s the wrong kind of expectation, because it feels, you know, at that point, it feels like an order. And people don’t like to be ordered. I don’t like to be ordered, do you like to be ordered? Probably not. 

Once the expectation is my job to watch and give support to, as the work toward the expectation germinates and begins to increase the person or the team’s capabilities, that’s when the growth happens. That’s when the growth happens. I’m here to make sure that the weeds get pulled, and that the tools needed for the growth to continue are provided. That’s what I’m there for. I check in, but I provide space, I have to provide space. It’s hard. It’s hard to provide space. It’s hard to not go authoritarian, especially when things aren’t going the way you want them to go. Or at the speed you want them to go. I get it. It’s hard for me, I do want to step in. And sometimes I do step in. And if you see yourself stepping in, and if you realize it, that’s fine. You’re stepping in, oh, shoot, I realize it; step back, give space, give direction, give the tools, pull the weeds, do what you need to do without getting in the way and taking over. When there’s a problem, I don’t offer a solution. Instead, I ask for an idea. And there is always an idea. People know. People know. Now a lot of people would like you to tell them because it’s safer for you to tell them, to provide the solution, but they know. Ask for an idea, don’t provide a solution. 

And you know, the right kind of expectations bring with them pressure and stress. All growth does that; you can’t grow without pressure or stress, whether it’s a body or whether it’s an idea, or whether it’s a plant; can’t do it. There’s a price that must be paid. The price could be practice, pain, time, etc. But there is a price to be paid to realize an expectation and to grow a capability. And people do not mind paying the price. So despite what I’ve often heard said, I believe it’s a price that most people are willing to pay. They’re willing to pay it. Because people want to be cared about and they want to be believed. They want to grow and they want to accomplish new things, big things. Most people want to accomplish big things, bigger than they would without their leaders. And in most cases, bigger than they would without their leaders’ belief in their capabilities, expectations or just beliefs. Their beliefs that the people you’re working with, or the person or the team has this capability inside them, like I started with, that no one’s asked for them to bring out and they’re reluctant to bring it out at first, believe me. But as they start to see it come out, and they start to see that your belief which came to life through your expectations, which become their expectation, actually works, actually helps them grow, actually helps them accomplish things that they wouldn’t otherwise accomplish. That’s a movement; that’s when you really start to make progress. 

So ignore this stuff about people don’t want to feel pressure. They don’t want to feel stress. I don’t buy it. I don’t buy it for a second. It’s easy to say, they say it doesn’t mean they buy it. Not everybody buys what they say. And as a leader in your organization or in your family or your team or whatever, you cannot buy what people say; you need to give them have an opportunity to buy something for themselves that they wouldn’t otherwise buy, didn’t think they could ever buy. And you do that, to me with expectations, to challenge their capabilities and with leadership that gives them the runway gives them the autonomy, backed up by your tools and your belief and you’re weeding, and you’re getting obstacles out of the way and making it happen. 

I hope you got some value out of today’s episode. And until next time, please, please maximize your greatness. Thanks

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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I help entrepreneurs get unstuck, take back their power, achieve their life objectives, and create the futures they want.

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