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Many years ago a young man took over as manager of a golf property.  This property included a range, executive golf course, and a golf shop.  After 5 years, before his arrival, this facility was barely hanging on.  This new manager however, with the help of many, began to turn it around.  The struggling business soon began to thrive.  It grew fast, and the organization began to expand into many different operations.  The operation was successful for many years, however this manager had some real issues with people.  “Why won’t they all work as hard as me” he said.

You see, he found his calling.  He was a golf guy.  All he wanted to do was work and succeed, both with the operation and personally.  He worked long, he worked hard.  It was far more than a job for him: it was a calling.  Although this manager was a self-starter with a great work ethic, the majority of his team saw their role differently.  To most of them, they had a job.  It was their work, and not their calling.  For years this manager could not understand why everyone did not want to work with the exact same zeal and gusto as he did.

Well, you have probably guessed that I was that manager.  This job, the second of my career was it for me.  I had found my calling.  I however, had very unrealistic expectations of those around me.  Each day I expected the teams to come in (early), work very hard, and always have a great attitude about their role, the organization, and even the industry.  I carried a bag filled with very unrealistic expectations of just about everyone on my team.  For the lucky ones amongst us, we are the river people.  We found a calling that was that thing we could not wait to do, each and every day.  For others, they are the goal people.  They must create a life strategy with a series of goals to reach, in order to achieve their success.

I urge you to create realistic expectations for every member of your team.  To burden your staff, and even your business with crazy expectations will hurt morale, harm sales, and send staffers and customers packing.  Here are 5 thoughts on expectations:

  1. Beginning with the hiring process, provide a realistic picture of the organization, of their role, and of the next year, to each new hire
  2. Work with everyone on your team to develop a set of goals that you each feel good about, and that they can agree to
  3. Know that life gets in the way, and whether it is sickness, personal problems, or just car troubles, as the leader, you should show real patience & empathy
  4. Communicate your concerns when you see a performance lagging.  People will jump through a wall when they realize you are on their side
  5. People join organizations, but they quit on their immediate supervisor most of the time.  Work out a schedule with each staff member, where you regularly spend time coaching and mentoring.  Every one of us goes off the rails from time to time.  It takes leadership to build a winning team of adults.


After several years, I realized that not everyone was going to apply themselves in their role, as I was doing in mine.  In life, we each learn the big lessons.  I learned, but not before I had lost some good people.  People are your best investment.  Treat them as the unique people they are, with individual talents and quirks.  When they know you have their backs, get out of the way and watch real success happen.

Jack Dillon writes the highfives blog.  Jack is a speaker, a Toastmaster and a golf shop expert.  He understand the woman consumer, and would love to speak at your next meeting.  Reach Jack at 407-973-6136 or at  Thank you.  

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