I took a little time off after Thanksgiving this year, and didn’t tell too many people what I was up to. There were plenty of reasons for this, but one of them was that I needed to “clear the air” around me.
When you’re in the mastermind business, interaction with other people is almost nonstop. Especially if you're growing beyond 20 groups of 8-12 people each, and you have a team of more than half a dozen people. I’m a little older than when I started, and it’s nice to unplug every so often, and let my brain recharge.
As I sat peacefully in our hot tub, I found myself going back to the days when Robin was pregnant with our two daughters, Brooke and Hollie. One thing that was a lot less common in those days was knowing whether you were expecting a boy or a girl. But nobody we knew expected anything bad in bringing a child into the world.
It was (and still is) a joy to become a father or mother. We looked forward to the birth of our children, no matter which gender. Brad Paisley captured this in his song “Anything Like Me,” where he sang, “I remember saying, ‘I don’t care either way.’ As long as he or she is healthy, I'm okay.”
I know there are people and cultures around the world that view this event with more expectation. In some places in this world, a child’s gender can be a liability, and even an excuse to be killed.
Let me just tell you, I want nothing whatsoever to do with people who think the world could use fewer human beings of either gender. Our mindset in bringing Brooke and Hollie into the world was one of expectancy, not expectation. We were simply happy to have a child of either sex.
That’s what I want to talk to you about today - looking ahead to 2021 with expectancy instead of expectations.
While we’re on the subject, we expect a year unlike any before in our online mastermind groups. Click here to apply to join one of them.
Why Expectations Won’t Cut It Next Year
One thing that’s obvious to everyone right now - you can’t plan for anything! Chaos is in charge, and chaos likes to change the story every five minutes. This has been hard for me, as a coach and mentor, because I always teach clients to have a plan.
It’s no different leading mastermind groups online - we’re still chugging along, using our blueprint. But we’re having very different conversations now than we used to, because there isn’t one soul on the planet that hasn’t been affected by COVID-19.
But even if it was a normal year where you could make plans, I think it’s a mistake to try to “engineer” the outcome you want. There are some situations where you can do that, make no mistake. But anytime you involve other people, you have to expect the unexpected.
I remember a lot of frustration throughout my years in the pawn shop and custom home building businesses. If I think about it like an engineer, I always find two factors in every frustrating situation - myself, and at least one other person or group of people.
The further “removed” you are from authentic relationships with people, the more unstable situations become. And it goes through the roof if you’re living in isolation, the way I did. I decided I didn’t want to live like that, or do business that way, when I emerged from my third retirement at the beginning of this decade.
What I’m trying to say here is that expectations are difficult things, especially if you don’t have open, honest, loving relationships where you can speak your mind. Whether you walk all over people, or have to walk on eggshells when you’re around them … expectations make things complicated.
There is an alternative, though. Our masterminds online provide open, honest, loving relationships where you can speak your mind. And you can also learn healthy ways to set expectations. Click here to apply to join one of our business masterminds today.
The Right Order For Expectancy and Expectations
We’re covering gratitude this month, and if I could name the single key ingredient to a mindset of expectancy, it’s gratitude. When I make it a daily habit to thank God for my wife, children, grandkids, friends and business - it takes a lot more work to be negative about them.
In most situations, I think we’re better off if we prioritize expectancy, and then set expectations. You have to make up your mind, in other words, that the people you do life and business with are good. Good for you, good for each other, and worthy of any investment you make in them.
We expect good things from relationships we’re grateful for, even if they can be frustrating. Some of my most treasured relationships are with men who have the courage to call me out when I’m going off the rails. In the moment, it might knock the wind out of me … but I’m always thankful later on.
Then comes the hard part - expectations. You can’t “not” have them … but they take hard intellectual work to get right. Here are a couple of road rules I observe when I think about setting expectations:
- Don’t ask of others what you’re unwilling to do yourself.
The first target of my expectations is myself. I don’t ask my team or the members of our mastermind groups to do anything I haven’t done. If they have to go through something, they can bet their bottom dollar I’ll go through it with them.
Another benefit of having expectations of yourself is that you can “model” what it looks like to meet them. This is one of the secrets of success for men like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis in the NFL. They study harder, practice longer and correct the tiniest details. That’s why they make it look “easy” on the field, and their teams adapt themselves to higher standards.
- Beware of being vague, or not addressing elephants in the room.
When the time comes to communicate expectations, you need to have things spelled out clearly. At View From The Top, we’ve spent the last six months writing and sharing our values, vision and mission. We read them aloud to the team, and to our mastermind groups. We seek feedback … and then we repeat the process! It takes a lot of time to really get expectations clear to everyone involved. Most people don’t want to work that hard.
It hit me one day, however - in a personal situation with my family. I realized I could apply the values I’d spent so much time working on, and rally people to solve problems together. When I pointed out that we could follow our own priorities, everyone eventually “kicked into gear.” We’d spent enough time going over (and over) these values … and everyone had agreed to them in advance. We could now hold ourselves accountable to live up to our words!
Would you like to surround yourself with a culture like this? Would you like a team of trusted advisors who share your priorities, and won’t give you an inch in backing away from them? Then click here to apply to join one of our mastermind groups.