The Management Gap

I just got back from a Leadership conference. Very well done with speakers from all over America.

At these conferences, I try to come away with a new business principle that I want to work on. This time it’s hard to pick just one, but one had a huge impact on me. It’s all about trust; although on the surface it may not appear that way.

Andy Stanley explained how we as managers have 2 concepts that present themselves to us each day. Expectations and Experience.

We all have expectations that we have for our company, our employees and ourselves. We hopefully communicate them in such a fashion/manner that our expectations turn into great experiences.

Hopefully these experiences fulfill our expectations. But often they don’t. In fact, when you think about it, it’s rare to hit something “right on”. You either are disappointed or overwhelmed (in a good way).

So between the two concepts is a Gap. A huge Gap.

The gap between what we expect and what actually happens.

We fill that gap with what we assume will be good; or assume what we believe to be the worst.

When you ask an employee to do something (expectation); you either expect the worst or believe that the best in the person (for the actual experience).

The experience from the past (of what you’ve seen) determines what you fill the gap with.

In order to always fill the gap (as we should) with “expecting the best”, we need to trust our employees. I’ll talk more about this in a later blog.

But if you (through past experiences) have learned to expect the worst, Stanley explains, you have one of two issues:

  • A hiring problem
  • A leadership problem

And we need to determine which is the case and solve it. Are you with me? Try it this week… which is your issue (that you can actually control)? Or perhaps you only have good experiences!

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