When someone makes a promise, however minor their point or how shallow their commitment to it, I form an expectation they will do what they say.
I’ve learned, the more I have expectations, the more likely I am to be disappointed.
Gadgets, appliances, corporate policies, government processes, software, hardware – all pretty reliable. Taps running, thermostats working, TV shows on-time, store shelves stocked – count on it. Expectations of reliability, not perfection, but reasonable expectation things, organizations and people work as expected, as promised, as contracted …
Luxury of expectation we ‘western world’ folks take for granted.
I’m not just thinking about GM car owners having faulty ignition switches replaced.
I’m talking about calls not returned.
Deadlines not met.
Appointments not kept.
I’m far from inoculated. I try hard to make mine, keep mine – sometimes easier to just not promise anything, not commit to anything.
Not good. But simpler.
Sad because we then aren’t relied upon as much, or for as much.
My dad taught my work ethic – performing beyond expectations on projects, with customers, with friends, is good. Desirable. Best. Always.
I’ve done some self-teaching too.
I can’t count on all people who say they’ll call or return a call or who promise to do something. Sad. Yet, I can count on at least two or three calls daily (()&%!@()*) from some telemarketing organization who want to sell me something but haven’t done rudimentary homework to find out who I am, what my business is about or prepared for some kind of relevant conversation – because they’ve been taught throwing things (or calls or emails) against walls is how business is won.
So many people waste their time and mine with so little thought.
I’ve spent most of my working life focused on ‘so much thought’ about details, meeting needs of the marketplace, satisfying customers, meeting expectations.
Telemarketer who just called(his area code said Colorado) came just minutes after the robo call (didn’t recognize the area code) from Google offering their recorded message for Google-ads. Working in tandem no doubt (not the first time), so much thought goes into that I suppose. Imagine how successful they might be if they weren’t constantly dodging ‘do not call’ and ‘call blocking’ … imagine if they actually wanted to connect an effective product, sales message and customer.
This is all good reminder methinks. I’m working on a new project/product that, when it rolls out, will have to address those very question.
Maybe that’s why I have this on my mind.
Then again, someone promised to call, but didn’t.
Why have expectations?
Because they are meaningful, they remind us how much we want/need to count on people – we need that at work, we need that at home, we need it with our friends, our family, our community.
When all is said and all has been done, there are few things in life as satisfying – as comforting as when people perform as we expected, not because we have lofty unreasonable expectations, but simply because they said what they would do, and then they did it without fanfare or credit seeking.
When people/organizations fail to perform there is always a reason, or a reason to apologize (see GM). Too many among us have learned that better late than never is acceptable, that passive-aggressiveness is OK and that it won’t matter much to anyone.
Well, it matters.
Think about that the next time you create an expectation – or have an opportunity to create one. Do you want someone to count on? I think it starts with being someone who can be counted on. I fail at that sometimes, but much less than I used to.
Did you count on reading this?
Today is column #4,219.
Will tomorrow be #4,220?
Count on it.
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: 18C/64F now, clear, steady breeze – sunshine is everywhere. We walked very early (that’s getting to be a very pleasant habit) before sunrise when nobody is stirring, before birds wake up – Gusta seems to like it as much as I do. Less sightings to report, more in-my-mind relaxation …
A very good word for a beautiful Canada Day. Cheering!, GD, Calgary, AB
Hi Mark, True North, strong and free… that is what I believe Canada is all about; at least for now. Liberty must be paid for through the lives and deaths of our armed forces and related support services. Give thanks to those who serve us, DK, Edmonton, AB
Happy Canada Day! A day late I realize but there it is, my usual stance these days. I did not realize our national days of celebration were so close together. Then that is as it should be seeing as we are neighbors and all. Enjoy your freedom as I do mine! GW, Bon Wier, Tx.