Parental Expectations of Leaders

“Nobody rises to low expectations.”

~ Calvin Lloyd

Parents are our first leaders. They are the people who brought us into the world, who feed, cloth, care for, and love us from the day we are born until the day they die. These experiences teach us about leadership from the moment of our first consciousness as toddlers. Their love, concern, compassion, devotion, and sacrifices on our behalf are virtually unconditional and unlimited. It is the perfect picture of perfect leadership.

We develop indelible and lofty expectations of our leaders from these early experiences. These expectations of leadership virtues are what we measure every leader against thereafter.  In this way, leaders must aspire to meet the same parental expectations within their organizations. It is the price that leaders pay for followership, support, production, loyalty, cooperation; all the outputs of organizations large and small.

Leaders who don’t understand employee expectations or can’t live up to them will be deeply disappointed. Just like parents, leaders who understand and can live up to those expectations will see employees rise to them and beyond.  The possibilities are almost without limit and although it seems like a tall order for leaders, the good news is that it’s not complex.

In my next post I’ll talk about some of the most important expectations.

Keith Stalder, #12

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