I spoke with the head of the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) progam at our local H.S. yesterday and in a 15 minute conversation she said at least 5 or 6 times how she doesn’t expect the students do something.   She didn’t expect them to do this or to do that.

I was at my daughters soccer practice and next to them was a youth football team. They were running laps and half of the team was barely running.  They were lagging behind at nothing more than a fast walk.   Not once did I hear the coaches hollar out or make them pick up the pace.

The problem in each of these cases was expectations of the kids was low.  Low expectations are a success killer.  Low expectations are for suckers.  In most cases people will rise OR fall to the expectations put on them.  Set them low and folks will sink to them.  Set them high and people rise to them.

This is no different in sales.   Expecting more from your sales people is at the heart of success.   Expecting more, overachievement, stretching, sophistication and business acumen, etc are all present in high-performing sales teams.

I expect a lot from my teams.  Setting expectations is part of my Management System, which I posted about yesterday.  Unlike the low expectations I witnessed at the local H.S. or with the football coach, sales leaders tend to do something different, they confuse demands with expectations.  It’s not uncommon for sales organizations to demand the sales team to meet a certain quota.   The quota is usually driven from top down and influenced by negotiation at the rep level.   Demanding a quota is met is not setting high-expectations.  It’s demanding results.  Setting high expectations targets behaviors.  High expectations happens in a system, encompassing all behaviors, actions, and results.

Organizations with high expectations not only set exceptionally high results expectations, but also have high expectations on how the results are achieved and the behaviors demonstrated.

When I coached Pop Warner football, I didn’t expect every kid to run a lap in 60 seconds, I did, however, expect every kid to bust his ass and push himself.  When it comes to FBLA I don’t expect every kid to be the next Warren Buffet, but I do expect them to get everything out of the porgram they possibly can, not just show up in order to make it look good for college.

I expect my sales organizations to be better than any other organization out there.  I expect them to push the limits. I expect them to make their number.  I expect them to be creative. I expect them to be executors. I expect them to be humble.  I expect them to embrace coaching. I expect them to make an impact in EVERY effort they commit to.  I expect them to expect more from themselves.  I expect them to give everything they have to be successful.   I expect they will never give up.  I expect a lot from my teams and myself.  High expectations have always brought success.

To drive success don’t set low expectations and don’t demand results.   To drive success increase the expectations of yourself, the team, the system, the organization, and the environment.   Increasing expectations goes along way.  Low expectations or demanding results stops things in their tracks.

What do you expect?

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