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“When it comes to expectations, leaders can never think, Set it and forget it.”

A thought by John C. Maxwell (2017-03-07) from his book, No Limits: Blow the CAP Off Your Capacity (p. 160). Center Street. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

As a Pastor, it was easy for me to get up and share a very good principle and then believe that was all I needed to do.  If I said it then things would change. 

John said, “Recently I was teaching the Expectation Principle to a group of executives. I placed my hand on one executive’s back and held it there while I taught. I wanted people to have a visual image of how leaders need to maintain their connection with the people they lead. They must always feel the gentle pressure of the leader reminding them to keep moving forward. Why? Because the moment we remove our leadership hand off most people’s backs, their tendency is to settle. When it comes to expectations, leaders can never think, Set it and forget it. People rarely lead themselves forward or correct themselves when they get off track.”

He goes on, “If you’re a parent, how many times have you had to repeat yourself to your kids? Dozens, hundreds, thousands? The consistency of the connection directly affects the consistency of the effort. When we stay connected as leaders, two things are being communicated. Team members are continually reminded of the effort needed to meet expectations. And the leader knows exactly how they are responding so that if there is resistance, it can be addressed immediately.”

He then says, “My friend Kevin Turner, former COO of Microsoft and currently the CEO of Citadel Securities, says, ‘People want to be judged by their intentions, not by their actions.’ I think that’s true. They also want to be empowered. But often what they need most is accountability. Keeping your connection constant and gently nudging them forward provides both encouragement and consistent accountability.”


Do you have a problem with believing that just saying it will solve it? 

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