Kill the gap between present and future
Future is always too far away. That’s why it is very tricky to think about it. But there is a place where our future comes really near to us. It is when we use words to describe something. This is what expectations does. They shape what we see.
If you’re new to this blog — my goal is to explore the power of expectation management. It is a skill to predict things, but it has a base in management principles that lead to control. It is not art, but a skill the same way as one might learn to play poker or piano.
Killing the gap between present and future starts by exploring thinking. Most of our thinking is rooted in the past. We love our past. It gives comfort and confidence in a complex world. At the same time, thinking about the future often can feel blurry. That is why smart people do stuff, rather than talk about the future. They know that words are cheap. Yeah, but then you also have those ultra smart people, who flip this on its head and only talk about the future. Not fictional future, but small and calculated future. Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and so on shape the future by talking about it. That is in essence expectation management.
The thing is that the smartest people are very great at predicting little things with impressive accuracy. And I don’t mean who is going to be the next president or whether the UK will leave the EU. For instance, few months ago, I met an executive bank manager who was a true A player. How did I make the assumption that he is a top guy? Because he would not start a conversation that he wouldn’t dominate.
In essence, he has an expectation that a conversation about fashion would not be of benefit to him. That doesn’t mean that he would ignore you, he would listen, but not invest his attention too much. He thinks ahead. He knows that to be great at one subject you must avoid others. There is no need to impress anyone when you see around corners. By not talking too much he created a space for good expectations for other things — like the subjects he is best at. Then he just dominates.
He is not an exception, because I’ve seen these guys before. They are usually successful business owners who know how to manage expectations.
These guys are like the lawyer who never asks a question he doesn’t know the answer to. That’s A level expectation management. That is how they constantly shorten the gap between them and the future.
The ability to think ahead of time is what expectations are all about.
Have a good one!