The Expectations Thing

I talk a lot about managing expectations with our clients – and I just posted to the blog, Value Plus, on this website regarding this topic. Since Sunday on the Hill is the blog that takes extractions from our animal life experiences and relates them to management lessons for humans, I wanted to pose a similar theme in this space. Our miniature Australian Shepherd takes his work very seriously (as do all Aussies when allowed to do so). Thus he has reached his highest level of functioning – self-actualization – in the terms of psychologist Carl Rogers. He knows that he is free to operate in any way that he sees as appropriate to get his “job” done – and he performs in this way on a regular, daily basis. He also feels free to take matters into his own hands when the need arises – this is the goal that you want for your employees. In the book, VALUE PLUSI talk about employees who seek solutions as a goal and describe these individuals as those who add value to the company. To my point, this morning before starting a working day in my home office (preferable on a Friday to trekking into Los Angeles to our offices there), I made a small plate of scrambled eggs and bacon and decided to eat while watching the morning news on Fox. While positioning my coffee beside my chair, I sat the plate on the chair’s ottoman – at Aussie height. The Aussie realized this – he’s only 16 inches tall – so seized upon the opportunity to snag a piece of bacon for himself – a practice in which he has never previously engaged. We have four dogs – the other three and I watched with open mouths as this slick maneuver took place. My take-away was that this is exactly what you want your employees to be doing – no, not snagging a piece of your bacon – but realizing what they need to do, in the interest of their work and your company, and seizing on those opportunities when they are presented. So, that when something comes around that is at their height, they’re ready for action!

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