For those of you that have worked around me and have heard me talk, this message won’t be new, but if you haven’t then I hope you enjoy this perspective and find it insightful.
In business or life there is only one thing that we truly have full control of, which if done effectively will yield more positive outcomes than you ever imagined. The one thing is something that most everyone knows well, but sometimes have a hard time reciprocating. It can put people in an awkward situation and thus shying away from managing it, which only leads to a negative outcome.
So, you’re probably asking yourself, what the heck is the “One Thing” that’s so common that we have full control of? Well let me tell you.
“The ONE thing we have FULL CONTROL of, is setting and managing expectations”
Like I said, most already know this, but are you applying it? Below are just a few examples, I’m sure you can come up with many on your own, or perhaps these resonate with you.
I’ve spent my last 20 years working within corporate America with various network carriers, and through that process I learned a TON! The most valuable thing I learned throughout the years, mostly due to my time with TW Telecom, was operational effectiveness, which ultimately drives a superior customer experience. This is only achieved if the operational structure is simplified and standardized with reasonable and obtainable expectations. Through evidence, this operational structure is a recipe for success, however it’s only effective if it aligns with the customers’ expectations. This is where my comment from above comes in with people being put in awkward situations, by asking questions that may provoke a “no”. I’ve worked with salespeople over the course of my career that tend to focus on the theatrics if you will (company brand, knowledge of products, etc.) vs. understanding expectations and growing a partnership, which ultimately is what most, if not all customers look for in someone, they do business with. The way this is accomplished is by asking questions and acting accordingly. We do this be setting expectations from the first meeting, whether that be a call or in person, if something doesn’t align, that’s ok, move on, or build upon the relationship for future opportunities. Time is the one resource we can’t get back, so it is always of the essence, this said, win fast, lose fast!
This simple principle is the secret sauce to a much happier and balanced life. It’s what keeps marriages and relationships healthy and long lasting. We are all experts at managing our own expectations, heck we’re oracles when it comes to it, but sometimes we forget other’s expectations, or worse, we never ask. Expectations are only set properly when the two parties are transparent. Transparency is the foundation of trust and integrity, and the cornerstone to any long-lasting relationship. Setting and managing expectations is truly the one thing we all have full control of, it’s up to us on how we use and apply it in our daily lives.
“Time is the one resource we can’t get back, so it is always of the essence”
As mentioned above, we are all experts at knowing our own expectations, but are we living up to them? I’m sure there are plenty out there that can answer that with a yes, maybe, or not really, so which category do you fall in? Let me give you a most recent example for me, of where I thought I was living up to my expectations, however it took someone to ask me a question to rethink that. We all encounter employment solicitations throughout our careers, when we are younger, we seem to be eager to jump on them as we feel someone believes in us more, or for the lure of more money or title. As we mature, we realize the grass is not greener and we are much more prudent on listening to offers, and most get passed on. However, there are rare times in our lives that we meet people that align with us on many levels (personality, creativity, business acumen, to name a few), and when that happens, you cease the moment. I recently left the telecom business after 20 years, which I thought was my end path, something I could grow into over time and help lead someday. Things were going well, I liked the company, leaderships vision, and strategy, it’s what keeps me at any company. As luck would have, I ran into EVOTEK, a System Integrator based in San Diego that was in hyper-growth, specifically due to the way they go to market. EVOTEK assembled an impressive group of executive and former practitioners to bring experience of “doing the job” to the market. As we move closer to the lowest common denominator, today’s example being digital information, the access and networks driving this plays the ultimate role on the end user customer experience. In doing what I love, helping businesses, I connected with the executive team at EVOTEK and together we created a complimentary business unit that could help their customers, while improving service levels and reducing costs. By holistically looking at a customer’s end users experience, EVOTEK would be able to identify a solution from point of entry (access/network) through application. The message I heard from EVOTEK, resonated!! Shortly after that revelation, I joined the company, to lead the newly formed Network Services group. Though the thought never crossed my mind to leave my long tenured corporate job, the vision and foresight of EVOTEK was something I wanted to be a part of. So yes, one of those rare times popped up from me, and I’m very fortunate to be part of the EVOTEK team! Sometimes we feel we are living up to our own expectations, because we are content or happy, but that could also mask our long-term expectations, as time passes quickly and never returns. So, do you want to wait for someone to ask you a question, or do you ask yourself a question from time to time, to make sure you’re really living up to your expectations?
I am in control. I choose EVOTEK.