Expectations are great except when they’re not.

How do you understand how good you’re doing if you don’t have expectations and goals? On the flip side, what if you consistently miss those expectations? Does that mean you’re a failure? What if it’s because you had too high of expectations? How do you know which is which? Can you?

Using the example of my vegetable garden, I tried planting too early and with too small (young) of plants. They died of bugs and shock. Does that mean the garden is bad (poor quality), I don’t have a green thumb (poor watering/oversight)? Does that mean that I simply planted too early (shipped too early)? Or could it be something else?

These questions can plague us. There are no easy answers. We must sit back to reflect whether we have done a good job with our garden or not. We may have had wrong expectations of getting ahead of schedule and we should’ve realized we just need to give it a couple more weeks or we needed more sturdy plants. In other words, we set our expectations too high (or too early in this case).

When you are setting expectations, what are your criteria for setting proper expectations? When you do set expectations, how do you follow up to track those to ensure you’re setting them properly? If you are frequently missing expectations, how do you veer away from panic and toward disciplined improvement?

Food — vegetables? — for thought.

Published by Jeff Beaumont

I love helping companies scale and grow their organizations to delight customers and employees, enabling healthy teams, fast growth, and fewer headaches. Scaling quickly is wrought with potholes and plot twists. When you’re running a company, losing customers, and employees are on their way out, and don’t have your systems running smoothly, then you’ll be at your wits' end. I've been there and hate it.

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