Many leaders inadvertently let external factors influence their lives. But, when we align our personal expectations for ourselves and others, we chart a course toward realizing the life we’ve envisioned. In this episode, John Maxwell shares insights on the crucial topic of expectations. Following John’s lesson, Mark Cole and Traci Morrow provide practical strategies for you to implement these principles in your life and leadership.
Our BONUS resource for this episode is the “Leadership Expectations Worksheet,” which includes fill-in-the-blank notes from John’s teaching. You can download the worksheet by clicking “Download the Bonus Resource” below.
Welcome to your Maxwell Leadership Podcast. This is a podcast where we really have committed ourselves to add value to you, because we see you as a leader who can multiply value to others. My name is Mark Cole, and today my friend your friend John Maxwell is going to share some insight on something I have observed within him for the last 23 years. He’s going to talk about the crucial topic of expectations. Many leaders inadvertently let external factors influence their lives. Yet when we align our personal expectations for ourselves and others, we chart a course toward realizing the life maybe that we should have envisioned all along. Following John’s lesson today, I’ll be joined by my friend Traci Morrow, and together we’ll provide practical strategies for you to implement these principles, the principles that John has implemented in his life. We want you to implement these principles into your life and into your leadership.
If you prefer to watch this episode on YouTube, or you would like to access our bonus resource for this lesson, visit MaxwellPodcast.com/Expectations, and let’s begin to expect ourselves to live out the life we envision. Now let’s go. Grab your pen, grab your paper. Let’s dive into the wisdom of John Maxwell.
I want to talk to you today about leadership expectations, and I’ve been looking forward to doing this lesson. And if you’ll allow me, as an introduction to this lesson, what I want to do is I want to do a little reading from the first book that I ever wrote. Think on These Things was the first book that I ever wrote. Wrote it back in 1979. And in the book, I talk about my friend Joe Sawyer, who many years ago, many years ago, told me a cute story about a boy who was fishing. And he was in kind of a farm pond. And interestingly enough, on the other side of the pond was kind of an older veteran fisherman. And with great interest, he watched this kid who would throw out his line and he’d catch these fish.
He just kept catching fish. And as soon as he’d catch one, he’d kind of look at it, and if it was a big fish, he’d throw it back in the water. And if it was a small fish, he kept it. Now, this veteran fisherman is looking at this behavior for about an hour, and he said, there’s something I don’t understand about this picture. He’s he’s throwing the big fish back in the water and he’s keeping the small fish. So finally he comes around to the other side of the pond and starts talking to the boy, and he says, say he said, I’ve noticed something for the last hour. He said, you’re catching a lot of fish. And the boy, he’s all excited.
He said, sure am. And he said, I noticed you throw the big fish back in, but you keep the smaller fish. Why is that? And the kid looked at him and said, well, sir, he said, that’s very easy. He said, you see, I only have a ten inch frying pan. And when my friend Joe Sawyer told me that story, I thought to myself, there are a lot of people in life who mentally just have a ten inch frying pan. They don’t expect much out of life. Basically, everything they do is going to have to be small because it’s the only thing that fits into their frying pan. It’s the only thing that fits into their plans.
It’s the only thing that they’re really comfortable with. They let the big stuff go and kind of keep the small stuff. And I thought that story was a great story to kind of use as an introduction on leadership expectations. Now, here’s what I want to do. I want to now go in my book, think on these things, it’s in your notes, and I’m going to read. And I want you to follow along for a couple of minutes because this sets everything up for the whole lesson. Many people are not receiving miracles in their lives because their expector has expired. Once they had dreams, now they have doubts.
The future looked bright, now it looks bleak. Better days ahead have been clouded by bitter days behind. They’re in trouble. If this has happened to you, revitalize your expector by adopting the following principles number one your life must be influenced by your expectations, not your experience. People’s lives are often guided by some dramatic experience of the past. Tragically, they never gain any new ground because they are a prisoner to past problems. They frequently comment, I’ve tried that once and it failed. Or you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Or It’s always been done this way. These individuals have made the terrible mistake that things never change and that experience is the best teacher. It gives the test first and the lesson afterward. Number two your life must be influenced by your expectations, not by others. Examples we all have someone we admire. At times it’s tempting to imitate them. Have you asked yourself lately, where have all the good heroes gone? The danger in pattering our lives after others is that too often we forget that they are human. Their feet are made of clay and they are susceptible to failures just like ourselves.
Their valleys possibly could become yours. Their stumblings might limit your ascent to the top of the mountain. Number three your life must be influenced by your expectations, not by your exhilaration. Moods of people vary to a great degree. And at times, during a mood of joy and happiness, decisions are made. They’re not in a person’s best interest. Decisions should be made based on evidence and sound reasoning, not during moments of high tide. Emotionally, your emotions are created by too many unstable factors in life.
The world is run by people who do not feel like it. No other area in your life will reveal your discipline more than your ability to conquer your moodiness and rely heavily upon your expectations. I thought those three thoughts kind of set the table for us for the lesson today. Now, read a cute story the other day about an 18 year old who went to college and she had some high expectations at the beginning of her college career. And here’s what she said. She said, I knew what I wanted in a man. So I began to look for my knight in shining armor on a white horse. At the beginning of my sophomore year, I realized that the color of the horse was not that important.
When my junior year rolled around, I thought, who needs armor? Besides, it just gets rusty. As a senior in college with limited prospects, I decided to take the horse. Well, the expectations are going down, aren’t they? How many times have we all started off with looking at that night and shining armor on that horse, white horse? And it kind of goes down and goes down. So let me talk to you. Let me give you some thoughts about leaders and their expectations. Number one, great leaders set high expectations for themselves. Now, that is a huge fact of life. Great leaders set high expectations of themselves.
I put in your notes a quote by Michael Jordan that said you have to expect great things of yourself before you can do them. And it’s so true. If you’ve followed his career, what an incredible career. Greatest basketball player that ever played the game. One of the things that you would find that would impress you the most about Michael Jordan was not his raw ability and talent, was not the fact that he played on a championship team. The thing that would probably impress you the most about Michael Jordan is that nobody needed to push him. He pushed himself. Nobody needed to tell him that he had to take the discipline of shooting foul shots.
He did it on his own. Nobody told him that he had to get his body in condition. He did it on his own. In fact, as Coach Phil Jackson said, of all the people I ever had to coach, michael Jordan, of all the players, was the one I least had to lean on to get him to do the things that were necessary. When I have looked at leaders, one of the things I have realized is they set their own expectations and they set them very high. The second thought I want to make concerning leaders and their expectations is this that great leaders set high expectations for others. In other words, they not only have high expectations for themselves, but they have high expectations for others. Now, this has been something that has been true in my life.
The people around me, I’ve always expected them to perform on a higher level. I’ve always had high belief in people. And that high belief has allowed me to say, this person can get to the top. The great leaders not only expect much of themselves, but they do have high expectations of those that around them. That’s why I put in your notes, poor leaders set high expectations for others and low expectations for themselves. But notice this one as you go on. Poor leaders set future expectations of others based on their present behavior. In other words, poor leaders not only have high expectations of others and low expectations of themselves, but they look at a person, they look at their past and say, well, you’ve done this in the past, so this is what I expect in your future.
And they sometimes make them a prisoner of what they’ve been yesterday instead of setting them free. I saw a cartoon the other day of a pastor who was speaking to his people. And you don’t have a cartoon notes, but I’ll tell you about it. He said here’s what he said. He said, I’ve stopped expecting you to make leaps of faith, but it would be nice to see a hop now and then. Could you just jump a little? Could I just see that? Number three. Great leaders communicate clearly how those expectations look. In other words, they communicate very clearly what those expectations are going to be and how they’re going to look into the life of the people.
Now, the tendency for leaders, because we are kind of visionary, the tendency for leaders is to kind of paint with a broad brush what the future is going to look like. Fuzzy expectations from the leader equals confused responses from the followers. My prayer is that every person will develop a leadership culture in your organization or in your congregation, your company. Small or big, doesn’t matter. Start with the principles I gave you today. Put the bar high. Put those expectations up for your leaders. Remember this they’re not only not all going to get there, but that’s right.
Put the bar high. Remember, when you put your leadership expectations high, winners stretch to the challenge and whiners shrink from the challenge. You never know who you are until you lay the bar out high. It’s at that moment the real leaders will come forth.
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Hey, as we’re coming out of John’s lesson here, Traci, I thought about this standout statement. I love when Jake and our team puts together things that really challenge me even as I listen to John. And the standout statement today is to expect more, to somehow get our vision up, to expect others. I’m reminded of a quote by Charles Ketterling. He’s an American engineer, and he says, high achievement always take place in the framework of high expectation. And I think that’s true. And Traci, I’ve been around you long enough to know that you have great expectation on yourself. I have certainly learned to expect great things, to expect big things from myself, and certainly John has done that.
And so I’m excited today to debrief this with you and hopefully give application to our team to truly lift their expectations of themselves. Welcome, Traci.
Well, thank you. I’m excited to get to this. Leadership expectations is a starting point for anybody. And I cannot help but think, podcast listeners, when John kicks off that story, I was just thinking about each and every person listening alongside of Mark and I. And when John talked about that ten inch frying pan story, silly little story, but I couldn’t help but think, because I know I was applying it to myself, that every person listening could not help but have a ten inch frying pan of their own. That came to mind. Something in your life today that, as John told that story, what ideas, opportunities have you been throwing back because you made your world very small by your expectations. And so I want to challenge all of us that as Mark and I break this down, that we can agree to commit to expand our expectations in that area, the particular area that came to mind as John told that silly little story, what is your ten inch frying pan and what are you going to apply that lesson to today? So Mark and I are going to dive in right now.
I’ve got lots of questions for Mark, and I love how Mark puts himself in the hot seat every week as he shares what he has applied John’s lessons in his leadership journey. So I love the quote at the very beginning, many people are not receiving miracles in their lives because their expector has expired. I certainly don’t want that to be me. So in the first part, right before he got to leaders and their expectations, mark, he talked about three things that a leader’s life must be influenced by. And he says it should be influenced by expectations, not by. And he lists three things, and they are experience, examples and exhilaration, which is emotions. So in the first one, I was just curious, Mark, if you would share, has there been a time in your leadership, perhaps even right very you’re very honest and forthright as you share where you’re at today. But maybe this is a past thing.
Maybe this is something you’re in right now, but has there been a time in your leadership where you needed to lean not on your experiences, but on your expectations? Like, maybe what has happened in your past, you needed to not pay attention to that? And what kind of self talk in order to bring you and your team into the future with your leadership, what kind of self talk do you have to do in order to make yourself move?
Well, you said a key word there self talk. And John also taught something that’s key in this section. He said your life must be influenced. And then you’re talking about the three E’s. But before he gave the three E’s, he says your life must be influenced by your expectations. What I try to do? Traci same thing you try to do. I watch any person that we bring on and begin to listen to John before we press record. And then we give our comments, we listen to John, our founder, our guide, our mentor, and the whole time today, he was teaching us.
I was listening and applying, which I try to do every time. And the thing that just kept reoccurring is exactly what you asked the question on. Traci what is your self talk? And, podcast listeners, what is your self talk? But couple that with what are your expectations? See, traci I spent the first 30 years of my life trying to live up to other people’s expectations. It was my parents expectations. It was my bosses, it was my pastors, it was my relationships expectations. And I’ll tell you, anytime we get into the game of trying to satisfy other people’s expectations of us, it is a no win situation. Never does it work. You may even succeed, and it still doesn’t work because you’re probably living lower than you should be living.
If you were living up to your expectations, you may fall short as I did. It’s still not successful because you have not assumed your life and responsibility for your life in light of your expectations. And podcast listeners, hear me out. Listen, stop running for a minute. Get off the bike. What are your expectations of yourself? Are you working out today because somebody else expects that for you? Are you showing up at work today because somebody else has that expectation? For us to embrace this lesson, there has got to be an embracing of what John demonstrates to us. With every one of these statements. He says your life must be influenced by what your expectations.
And before we even get to experience examples, exhilaration, I want to share with you. For 30 years, I tried to measure up to other people’s expectations, and I came up short even on my own expectations. I couldn’t even live out and live up to what I wanted for myself. Where I get into trouble with my leadership right now. Traci every single time is when I try to measure up to somebody’s expectations. Right now, the greatest temptation for me is to try to measure up to John’s expectations.
Yeah, I would guess.
See, John is a communicator, extraordinary one that I don’t even have a dream of becoming three quarters as good as John. I would like to become half as good, but I don’t even set the aspiration of communicating at a level that John communicates. But I want to tell you something. The times that I get really in trouble is when I try to do something like John would do it rather than watching how John would do it and up the game of how Mark should do it. And when we get into the game of trying to allow others expectations of ourselves or others expectations of them to set the bar of our expectations of ourselves, it is a very difficult game to win. So, Traci, right now, and in my past, my greatest violation of living up to the Mark Cole I know I’m supposed to be is when I let others define the Mark Cole they want me to be. Team podcast listeners, podcast viewers, get in touch with your expectations of yourself.
Yeah, that’s good, because that’s a slippery slope. I know someone needed to hear that because it takes away you’re guessing. You are continually guessing, and you’re jumping through hoops, and it’ll never, ever be enough. I know someone needed to hear that word today. And when you are living up to your expectations, it keeps you out of jumping through someone else’s hoop, and it’s never high enough, and you’re going to trip yourself up. So thank you for sharing that. Okay, let’s jump into leaders and their expectations. He gives us three points, so first he has us john is always about, like, the meeting before the meeting.
And those three points were really like, get your mind right with yourself. Because if you get into those leaders and your expectations, when you start talking about what you expect of others and you haven’t gotten it right with yourself, first, you have already started out on a slippery slope. So I love that he first hits those, and then it gets into leaders and their expectations. And the first one he talks about is, great leaders set high expectations for themselves. And he gives a quote from Michael Jordan, who’s the goat, some might say, when he talks about set high expectations, and you just talked about setting your own expectations, how high is too high? I think that there are some people who set high expectations. What would you say is the difference between setting a high expectation and an unrealistic expectation and how, as a leader, do you gauge the difference? How high is too high and when does it become unrealistic?
It’s so interesting. Over the last month, john and I, last month were in Cancun. We were certifying about 1800 new coaches on our Spanish platform. So it was an event completely in Spanish. John and I spoke through translators. It was an incredible event. But the mentoring that happened on that trip was incredible. And it fits this conversation traci that you and I are having right now, what John taught on the podcast today.
Because John and I were talking about expectations critiquing ourselves, and he was really mentoring me on how my self talk and how I’m talking and challenging myself as a leader. And so we got into this conversation, and I want to tell you, first of all, understand john and I would rather set a goal so high that there’s not a chance in the world that we on our own would hit it. It’s going to take a God factor. It’s going to take a people factor. If we hit the goals that we have set, there is no way in the world that we can take the credit. Now, for some people, that is psychologically chaos. For them, they cannot handle it. So some of you is not going to resonate with this point.
But hear me say, for John and I, and for some of you that resonate with this, I would rather set a goal so high that I miss it, but accomplish much more than I would have if I had not set an unattainable goal. That is how I’ve lived my life. Because when I hit that goal that is so high, I have this propensity to celebrate with others and to cast my eyes upward thanking God. Others of you, you have to set a lofty goal and feel like you’ve accomplished it. And guess what? I celebrate you for that. Keep setting those high goals. Accomplish them. It’s not that you don’t appreciate others.
It’s not that you don’t give the God factor. But I am of the opinion, and I always get energized by goals that are so aspirational that there is an unknown factor that has to seep into that. So, Traci, to answer that question of the difference between unrealistic goals and achievable goals, every goal that John has ever given me and every goal that I have myself is unachievable. It takes this supernatural, it takes this undeniable others factor to hit our goals. One of my greatest quotes, I’ve used it on this podcast multiple times, and it fits. To respond to your question, I have been given a goal, a task, a responsibility by John so many times. And I look at him and quote my good friend Rob McClellan, who I try to give credit for this because he’s the first person that exposed me to this quote. And I look at John often and I say, john, let me tell you this.
I heard you. That’s where I’m headed. And if I don’t make it, my body will be pointed in that direction when you find me. And what I’m saying there is john, I don’t know how in the world humanly skill set wise, my strength zone. I don’t know how we’re going to accomplish this, but I’ll tell you what, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got, and if I don’t make it, you’re going to find my body pointed that way. Well, I think that fits into this point that we’re talking about. You know, Traci, one other thing that John really helped me with, that I don’t know if I’ve answered a really good question on unrealistic goals compared to realistic goals, because there really is a lot of unrealistic goals that’s not driven by greed. That’s not driven by a sense of too high thought on what we can accomplish.
It’s truly a passion to pursue something so big that when we accomplish it, only God gets the credit. I’ve heard John say that hundreds of times when he talks about goals, it’s not going to speak to everybody, but it definitely speaks to us. And my slant on realism and unrealism as it relates to objectives or goals. Where I would also like to go though, Traci, on this one, great leaders set high expectations for themselves is what John taught me last month while we were in Cancun. John said, Mark, I really need to give you some critique here, but I hesitate because when I give you critique, you take that and you really become self critical to the point that it is a detriment to your ability to achieve rather than an attribute or it AIDS your accomplishment. He said, here’s why. You spend too much time being critical of yourself rather than being expectant of yourself. There is a difference.
And Traci, I’ve watched you and I wrestle with this subject, and this may help you. I hope it helps our podcast listeners. I think in the world of leadership and leaders that set high expectation of themselves, we have to be careful that when we set high expectation of themselves and we miss it, that we don’t become our chief critic because we missed an expectation that we didn’t hit. I watched John on the trip to Cancun. He’s really passionate about a project that he’s doing right now, and he set high numbers compared to another time that we had promoted this opportunity, and he set high numbers and we missed it. We missed it bad. We wasn’t even close. We wouldn’t even in the same ballpark.
And we got back to the hotel room and I said, wow, John, that really stunk. What do you think I did wrong? What do you think I could have done better? What do I did? He went, Whoa, wait, you did everything the same as you did the last time when we superseded our expectations, when we went way above and beyond. He says, you didn’t do anything different. If anybody should be critiquing themselves on what they could have done different, it should be me. But have you noted that I’m not doing that? He said, I’m not critiquing myself because I did it the same way I did it last time. It just was not a right fit in this environment. He said, the difference between you and me, Mark, is we both set high expectations, but when we miss it, you critique yourself to the point of negativity, and I critique myself to the point of improvement. And when we can become a critical thinker to ourselves, to the advancement of improvement rather than to the enhancement of negativity, we will be better at setting expectations for ourself.
And so my challenge to you podcast listeners, the same challenge to myself, are you better at being critical of yourself or expectant of yourself? And oftentimes there is a fine line, but many times there is a difference in being critical of yourself and setting high expectations or being expectant of ourselves.
Oh, that is really good. And for some leaders, I can’t help but think that that hits them right in the heart. And for some, I hope it sets you free, actually. And if you need to dive in a little bit more to that, maybe you’ll want to visit one of John’s books on failure, like Failing Forward or sometimes you win, sometimes you learn to revisit how he processes because you might think, how does he criticize himself to the point of improvement? Is critical with himself to the point of improvement. And he walks you through that mindset in those books. He has written books on that. But it leads us to the next part. And I’m curious because then from having expectations for yourself to great leaders set high expectations for others.
And I’m curious if then that seeps into if you set such high expectations for yourself, does that also trickle down into having and setting those expectations for others? And if you miss the mark, if you’re highly critical for yourself, are you as a leader, maybe some of our listeners have this are you then also as critical on others? Or are you more critical of yourself and you give more leniency towards others? Or are you someone who, when you set high expectations for others, how are you when there is a.
Thought when traci? I thought about this point as John was teaching. I went, you know what I wish? I wish we had open mic podcast day. I just wish the 180,000 people that are downloading our podcast this week could just open up their mic and talk back to us.
And the reason I say that, and I really do some days just want that and say, hey, I’d rather hear from you than you hear from me today.
And on this particular topic, I would really like to hear from our podcast listeners because I wonder how many of you listening or viewing today would agree with me. I very rarely feel bad about the expectations I set on others. I’ll be honest with you, Traci, very rarely do I feel bad for being frustrated at teammates. Specifically leaders that are teammates that feel the challenge of my high expectations. I don’t even have a conscience about that. But here’s why my expectations are so high of myself. When I miss an expectation that John or my superiors or myself set for myself, there will never be another person, including my wife, when I come up short in her expectations of me, that will be more critical of me than me. Therefore, when I impose that discipline or that worldview on others, I absolutely show them intensity that’s too hot for them to handle.
And it’s a blind spot for me, Traci. That’s why I want to do more listening right now than I do talking, because I have a blind spot in how it feels to be on the other side of me in the area of expectations and in the area of unmet expectations. You know why it’s a blind spot. I would never do to you, Traci, what I wouldn’t do for myself. But the problem is, as I illustrated earlier, I’m too critical on myself when I set expectations and when I miss those set expectations. So therefore, I am too critical on others, but I don’t recognize it because I equate it to how critical I am on myself. And so the open mic desire that I have for you, my podcast family, right now is more probably selfish, to be honest with you, but it’s more so that I could understand how to lead better in this point. Because, yes, good leaders set expectation for others.
But if you, as the senior leader on a team don’t realize that the expectations of a leader should be more than the expectations of the second leader the third leader on down the organizational structure chances are you’re operating. From a blind spot. And your expectations are too hot and your intensity is too much for the people around you because you are expecting of them like you expect of yourself. And you’re justifying it. You don’t even have a conscience to tell you that you’re too hot in.
Your intention unless you have an inner circle who you have allowed to speak to you. Like right now, John is working with you in this area and pointing out areas to you. I can’t help but think that on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have leaders who are listening, who are missing goals because they are on the empath end where they are empathetic to themselves. And they look at themselves as a human, and they cut themselves some slack and they say, you know what? I’m not going to beat myself up about this because I missed this deadline, because I didn’t close that deal, because I didn’t make those sales and hit those goals that I knew what was going on in my life, and I’m going to give myself that empathy. And so then they do the same about their team. And so it becomes almost a team wide problem, if you will, using air quotes for those of you who are listening on the podcast on the opposite end, because there’s too much empathy going to where deadlines are grossly being missed on the team. And I would say if I were to miss anything too much, I would say as a leader, I almost err to that side because I have an empathy toward I know what’s going on in their life. I know the crisis that’s hitting their family.
I know what’s happening in their private life that I will give them. And so what I always marvel about John is that he’s empathetic, but he also sets the bar very high. And he has this great balance of being empathetic with someone, but still holding you to a line and expectation. And that’s what’s so wonderful about those. First, the meeting before the meeting that I said at the beginning, those three things. Our life must be set by expectations, not by our experiences, the models that we have before us, the examples and the exhilaration or our emotion. Exhilaration could be up or down. It could be emotions up or down.
And so you’re saying, like a frustration that they missed a goal because you get frustrated with yourself? I’m saying I tend toward more empathy. So there’s a happy medium that we’re going for friends. Okay, last one. Because our time is short, but if you could just hit a little bit. He talks about great leaders, communicate clearly about how those expectations look. To me, this is a big one. This is all about communication. And it’s communicating in their language so many times.
As a leader, I find that what I believe, whether this is at home to my kids, to my husband Casey, or to my team, what I think is clear, what I have said that makes complete sense to me in my language necessarily, is not. It might be fuzzy to someone else in the way that they understand things. And so it’s about making sure that it is clear. The expectations are clear in how they understand it. Like, not always in the way that we say things is what our team is hearing. And so can you talk a little bit about how you make sure that your instructions are not your instructions, your expectations are clear to your team in such a way that they understand what their expectations are?
Yeah, I will talk a little bit, but I’m telling you, I want to talk a lot a bit.
I know we could have landed on this for the full time.
Yeah, we will be brief on that. But there’s a whole podcast I would love to do on communicating clearly on expectations. I’ve watched leaders assume way too much in the area of expectations because it’s clear in their mind, why should I have to verbalize it, right? And I have to tell you that if you pursue and or consider yourself to be a great parent. The way to set expectations of teammates is the way we set expectations of our two, three, four year old child. You get really clear, you say, no, we don’t do this. This is a better way to do that. And I know that’s oversimplifying for many of you, but often we look at people’s competence and we go, oh well, they’ve done that. In fact, they were probably better than that.
In fact, most of the time we hire people that have done more than the current job does because we want to get a good deal. And so then we bring them in. And because we assume we answered the competence question, we excuse ourselves from answering the clarity question.
And so as leaders, so often when we’re setting up a new teammate, we actually set them up, of course, but we set them up to fail because they don’t have clarity on what’s expected of them. And then I’ve watched leaders on the adverse. When a team member is coming up short, they assume the teammate knows they’re coming up short. And then when they realize they don’t when they have the conversation, they don’t set clarity on how to get back to set expectations. They just go, hey, you’re coming up short here. And they don’t illustrate how to reestablish credibility in the workplace. And so we teach all the time, you’ve heard John teach it on this podcast. Expectations on the front end give great credibility and effectiveness on the back end.
But the problem with that is life makes sense looking in the rear view mirror. We can’t connect the dots. Often looking forward, we only connect the dots and make sense of things looking back. We cannot do that in leadership. We can do that in how we lead from a vision standpoint, how we pursue opportunity. But when we are leading people, you as the leader, need to be relentless in your pursuit of setting expectations, making sure you have clarity, and having that teammate repeat back to you what they heard. Because often we put it on a paper, we get them sign the document, but we don’t get them to verbalize it to us. And they have interpreted said expectations from a totally different worldview.
And then we end up missing expectations and not even realizing it’s. Because we as leaders did not communicate expectations on the front end. It is imperative new teammate, low performing teammate, teammate that is in corrective territory that needs to get better. You as the leader have got to set up clearly what those expectations are, or you are setting your teammate up, but you’re setting them up to fail.
That’s so good. That is gold right there. I think that’s the exclamation point on this whole lesson, because that can change everything. John will say, often disappointment is the gap where expectation meets reality. And a lot of times if we haven’t set expectation at the front end, then that is a large part of why? Because it’s been fuzzy. That’s why we are having disappointment somewhere in the middle. That’s so good.
You know, we talk about self expectations. A lot of this. We spent a lot of the first part of this podcast. John wrote a book that I think is probably the best illustration of how he arrived at success and significant living. And the book is called Intentional Living for all of our viewers. I’m holding it up. One of my favorite books. It is a book that I feel like was undersung in the marketplace.
It’s a very personal book to John. In fact, we put John’s image on this book, which we don’t typically do, because it was such personal to him, but there are so many nuggets in how you can intentionally live and set yourself up for expectations. I’ve asked our team that if we could set up a link for you, we could give you a discount. We’re going to give you a 15% discount on this book. When you go to the show notes, click on the link, use the promo code podcast, and you’ll be able to get that. Traci, I try to close every podcast with a comment that’s come in. So all of you that give us comments, please give us questions, give us your thoughts, help us improve, but always try to do that from one of our streaming sources. Find a comment to listen to.
But today, I mentioned earlier in the show that I was in Cancun, Mexico for our Spanish platform, and I met Santiago. Santiago is from Monterey, Mexico, and he came up to me, tears in his eyes, and he said, Mark, I think he said, eight months ago, I was turned on to your podcast. I didn’t know John Maxwell. I didn’t know about Maxwell leadership team. I didn’t know about a Spanish platform. And I sit here today because the podcast began to awaken the greatness within me. That’s what Santiago said. He said, the podcast began to awaken the greatness within me.
And he said, I’m only seven months old. To the podcast family, he said, but in two months, I will have listened to every episode over the last six plus years. He said, I listened to it in the morning. I listened to it in the evening. I listen to more of you and Traci and others than anybody else. I’m sure of it. And so, Santiago, I met you a month ago, and by your calculations, we’re about a month away of you listening to every podcast episode out there. So, Santiago, when you hear this one, square your shoulders and say, yeah, that’s me, and my life is better.
And my greatness is realized because of the Maxwell Leadership podcast. Hey, guys. We exist to bring powerful, positive change to Santiago and to each of you. So wherever you’re tuning in today, listen in, take notes, be better, and go lead well.