What a disappointing year for the Carolina Hurricanes!
The media and the front office did a poor job of setting the expectations of their hockey team. This was the first year in Carolina Hurricanes history where the expectations of going deep into the playoffs were off the charts.
Even back in 2006, when the Canes won the Stanley Cup, no one expected them to perform as well as they did. 2013 should have been a very exciting year, but instead we are left with frustrated fans and fuming armchair coaches.
Ability and expectation is a balancing act. It’s far easier to build expectations than build ability. In reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, he writes that it takes 10,000 hours of practicing a skill before you become an expert. Unfortunately, no one really wants to put in the 10,000 hours of repetition necessary to be great. This takes extreme self-discipline and rigor, while expectations are much easier to inflate, as it requires just talk. The more you talk up a player, a person, or an organization, the greater you inflate expectations. This inevitably invites frustrations that hinder the team’s productivity.
So how does this play out in your business? Here are three simple steps:
- Improve ability through repetition.
- Set the right expectations.
- Do one and two together.
It requires strategic planning to manage the ability of your business team. It begins with increasing repetition in the given area of their ability. Start by asking each employee which area they need to focus on and begin a weekly game plan of increasing “reps.” As you execute this game plan, it will help you as the leader to set the right expectations.
Managing the ability and expectations do not just follow sports. It takes rigor and discipline; and there is only one road to a successful outcome and that road is narrow and long. The pitfall for the Carolina Hurricanes was not their ability to function as a team, but the high expectations placed on their ability. The distance between their ability and expectations was so vast, they simply could not attain those unrealistic expectations.
So don’t make the same mistake with your business. Manage your team’s ability by focusing on an individual’s area of desired expertise, applying the necessary “reps,” and setting the right expectations to avoid frustration.
If you are interested in gauging the health of your organization, from your vision to strategy and execution, as well as your brand and communication, then inquire about our newest (R7) Assessment tool. It was designed to give you a “big picture” of where to focus your attention first. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
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