By Neil Kuvin
Disappointment is the natural result of badly managed expectations. I can attest to how many disappointments I’ve been through in several decades. First was managing several TV stations in large cities (NY, Boston, Atlanta) for about a total of 10 years. And then after leaving the world of network TV, 20 years of managing a small business, right up until today.
Have you ever read anything by the legendary motivational psychologist Abraham Maslow? He and others have helped me transform disappointments and successes in all of my relationships—personal and professional. We often forget—especially in today’s high-tech world—that a company is simply a collection of individuals. Employees are looking for meaning. Customers are looking for a transforming experience. Investors are looking to make a difference with their investments.
When you think about it and you apply the principals of faith, hope and patience, corporate transformation and personal transformation aren’t all that different. You can address a problem head on by just remembering that many times, you’re just not in control. You haven’t lost it. It’s that your demand for control of every situation just isn’t going to happen. Therefore you need a forced sense of reality and acceptance to calm you down and get you restarted in another direction.
So, if you can aspire to that actuality, why can’t companies aspire to this peak, too? Companies often spend too much of their time focused on the base needs of relationships—but it’s the peak experiences that foster real success. Most of us spend our lives focused on what is, but there are many reminders for us to focus way more on what could be. That’s the difference between living in the past and ordering our lives and our business expectations by past experiences. And then there’s vision. What a grand idea! Will there be disappointments? Sure. It’s all in the way you hit the wall, turn around and start again.
This transformational perspective on managing expectations is just as relevant to a company as it is to an individual.