A Reader Writes… (Expectations Manual)

In response to the post, “Expectation Manual,” a reader asks:

“Cain,

Please send me a copy of that manual. I would like one to use it as an example for next year.

Thank you.”

SC Response:
Unfortunately, I can’t send anyone a copy. It has been over 5 years since I left the district where we implemented the Expectation Manual. Not only did I not keep a copy (it wasn’t until I started working with districts across the country that I realized that the idea was unique), but leadership in that district has changed a couple of times since I left. They have reverted back to micro-managing to the lowest common denominator.

One of the reasons why they have reverted back to the old way is that managing by expectation is hard work.

1. You have to articulate and document your expectations publicly.

2. You have to meet and model the expectations at all times (not a top priority of many “leaders”).

3. You have to monitor the expectations (again, not a priority of many “leaders”).

4. You have to have difficult conversations with people when they do not meet the expectation (never enjoyable and easily put off because of more “important” things to do).

5. You can’t play favorites or single people out.

It’s much easier to set the bar low and deal with nothing than set the bar high and push your staff and yourself to meet that standard, every single day. What is exciting about framing employee behavior in terms of expectations is that conscientious employees appreciate the professionalism and coasting employees either step up or step aside.

If anyone out there wants some ideas on where to start, just send me your contact information by way of a comment. And not to worry, I won’t post it for everyone else to see.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your Turn…

Expectations Manual
A Sunday Grab Bag

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