Over some breakfast and coffee, I recently spoke with a friend about my need to apologize for my high expectations.
“I know I am a part of the problem. I know my expectations are too high,” I said.
“I find it interesting that you would apologize for having high expectations,” was the response.
My friend asked me if I thought employees would classify high expectations as a negative in places like Silicon Valley or New York City. I paused, thought about it, and simply said, "Probably not."
On the West Coast, you have this passion for the product that you are pushing and the belief that you will one day be swallowed up by PE, taken public and made famous as a designer, developer or dreamer. In New York City, you are there to make your mark, leave your message and find your soul. But what about Chicago? Does Chicago limit your passion? Does the Midwest shun high expectations?
What shuns high expectations are misaligned communications.
I have worked hard to set expectations. Not only with clients, but my teammates. We are on a rollercoaster of creating awesomeness, care to join?
I know I have high expectations. I understand that to some, I need to apologize for not setting the record straight. But, I believe in the impossible. I believe that we can create magical moments for the brands and people we work with. I dream of excellence—in service and in delivery.
Not everyone feels that way. It’s not limited to the Midwest, it is everywhere. But, those who work in my close circle need to know that alongside the fight for excellence comes my expectation that together—yes, together—we will win and find what = happiness.
It is fine to just want to do a good job, collect the check and live your life. That is what = happiness for some. When that is your vision and not mine, it doesn’t make either side wrong, it simply means the paths are headed in different directions. The expectations shouldn’t create personal strife, it’s simply just not the right fit.
Expectations of excellence are built from my foundation—of being the fat kid, of being the bad writer, of being the failed athlete. In those events I may have missed the expectations of the decision makers. Of the car I drive, some aren’t going to make my cut, which may fuel them to find their own greatness as life goes on.
I apologize for my high expectations to those who I may have not communicated my expectations properly to. For those who hear me loud and clear and want to be a part of this amazing journey of creating awesome moments for our brands, our clients and our people—welcome aboard.