Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The Mind of Noble Leadership-Expectations and Outcomes

The Book about Noble Leadership

Several years ago I decided to write a book about the concept and philosophy of Noble Leadership. Writing a book is similar to many of the activities that we begin in life and tragically like most of them they can remain unfinished.
I persisted with the book and it is true to say that I had many friends and colleagues who were applying some degree of pressure on me to write and then finish this book. After 2 years I had it almost finished. It was a large book and one very much aligned with the full Noble Leader Program. It had taken a long time and I did not feel truly connected with it. It was complex and analytical and I was doing it with other objectives. One such objective was for my Doctorate in Philosophy.
Some good friends in Malaysia started to read my draft and their immediate feedback was most critical and I guess they were disappointed both in the book and maybe also in me. In short they did not like the way the book had been written and presented.
I went away disillusioned. After a few days I recovered enough to see that what they were offering was in fact very constructive. One of the key elements of the Noble Leader philosophy is "simplicity" and in this book I had failed miserably. It was anything but simple.
I sat down and wrote the book again but this time in the most simplistic way that I could imagine. The book was finished in less than 3 weeks. I showed this book then to some other friends in Melbourne who were amazed at it. They were amazed at it's size. They said -"this is okay but where is the rest of it?" They were expecting much more.
So this situation leads me now to the subject. Everything in life is shaped by expectations. In this instance we had my expectations of myself, the perceived Malaysian expectation of the book and myself, the Australian expectation of the book and myself. There were so many expectations and along the way I was attempting to meet many expectations, least of all my own. Added to this of course were the expectations of a distraught publisher.
We live in a World of expectations. We create them and we are affected by our perceived expectations of others. This is a complex environment for us to operate within. Expectations and outcomes and the fact that all too often they do not match.
The same can be applied within the Workplace. Everyone has expectations and most are unfulfilled. We have to learn to manage our own expectations and our reactions to the expectations of others. We need to be realistic and to learn to overcome self doubt and our desire to meet the expectations of others. Our expectations about others is only our self perception and in many cases we can be so wrong.
There are a number of ways in which we can assess this situation. One such way is to strive to ensure that our expectations of others will be no greater than the expectations that we have of ourselves. What does this tell us about our own expectations regarding ourselves? We need to ensure that we have realistic and achievable self expectations. If we do not have this then we will be very unfulfilled. We will be struggling to live a life with disappointment because we could not meet our own expectations.
Expect nothing from others that you would not expect from yourself.

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