Gary Winters

Coach  Workshop Facilitator Author

People will rise or fall to your level of expectation

People will rise or fall to your level of expectation.

How well your employees perform has as much to do with your expectations of them as it has to do with their own abilities. If you think they will do well, they probably will do better than if you think they won’t do well.

In a famous experiment, teachers were given their new class rosters at the beginning of the school term. On these rosters, some students, chosen at random by the experimenters) were identified as having signs of better-than-average intellectual growth than others.

The teachers were not given any instruction to treat these students any differently with special assignments, more attention, and the like. They simply appeared on the roster with an asterisk by their name and a footnote at the bottom explaining that these students might have more potential than others.

At the end of the school year, the experimental group of students all showed gains growth in intellectual growth than the control group of students. For example, students in the control group of first graders showed a gain of 12 IQ points, while students in the experimental group showed a gain of over 27 points.

After the term ended, teachers steadfastly maintained that they did not favor the experimental students in any particular way. However, anecdotal evidence painted a different picture. Teachers routinely gave the experimental group of students more attention, calling on the more often, praising their work more often, giving them special privileges, and so on.

The conclusion is unmistakable: these kids did better because their teachers expected them to do better.

The lesson for managers is simple – if you want the best from your people, you have to expect the best. That doesn’t mean simply raising the bar and hoping for the best – it means truly believing in your people and their incredible capacity for outstanding performance.

Early in my career, I worked for a woman who absolutely refused to even hear any negative self-talk from her staff. She focused entirely on what we could do, not what we couldn’t do. If I went to Sally and said “I have a problem,” she would literally not even respond. I had to learn to rephrase it, saying, “I have an opportunity.” She taught me the meaning behind the adage “There are no problems, there are only opportunities.”

She knew that reframing problems into opportunities was a way of demonstrating her high expectation of me. By having these expectations, my performance improved dramatically. And, by having (authentic) high expectations of me, she helped me have high expectations for myself.

Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can do a thing or you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” The Law of Expectations means that whatever you think of your employees, you’re right – and their performance will rise or fall to your level of expectation to prove the point.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is the sequel to the very popular “What Your Boss Never Told You.” Packed inside are more tips, techniques, and insights about the challenging, but rewarding leadership position.

“What ELSE Your Boss Never Told You” is written in a conversational tone, as though you and the author were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about the issues that emerge for new leaders. It stands alone, and/or could be read before or after the first volume, “What Your Boss Never Told You.” You can start with any chapter and read in any order you like.

if you search for a book on management, you’ll find a staggering 600,000+ books currently available. How can you narrow that down? “What Your Boss Never Told You” is the best place to start.

No textbook here – this book is short and sweet. It’s designed to help you “unpack” your new job and be effective from the first day with your new team. It contains twenty-one chapters filled with the wisdom Winters has gathered from real managers – effective, successful leaders in organizations much like yours.

Leaders make decisions every day – big and small. Most know that if they include others in the decision-making process, the quality of those decisions – and the commitment to them – will likely improve. That said, they also know it’s impractical, if not impossible, to include others in every decision they confront.

“To Do or Not To Do” tackles the question of when to make decisions on your own, and when to involve your team. It gives you a deceptively simple but proven method to determine, when you are facing a difficult decision, how to decide how to decide.

Far too many meetings are dreadful, mind-numbing, energy-draining, productivity-sapping, colossal wastes of time. As someone once said, “To kill time, a meeting is the perfect weapon.”

Here’s the deal: if you’re willing to learn and apply the techniques in “So, How Was Your Meeting?”, you’ll call fewer meetings, while vastly improving the ones you do lead. They’ll take less time, have more balanced participation, produce better decisions, and result in concrete action items for follow-up afterwards.

While there are thousands of books written for people about to retire, this may be the only book for people who manage soon-to-retire employees. Written in a casual, conversational style, “Managing the Soon To Retire Employee” will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

You can be successful with Sooners. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’ve learned right away.

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward. When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of ground rules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future. 

Have you been approached by management with an offer to promote you to supervision? Or, are you mulling over the possibility for the future? Find yourself not sure whether to accept the promotion?

If so, you’ve come to the right place. Help! They Want to Make ME a Supervisor will help you sort out a very big question: Should you accept the offer to become a supervisor? Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be confident that you’ve made the best decision for you and for your organization.