People want to be a part of high expectation groups. We want to belong to something we view as valuable. This could be membership in an exclusive club, residence in a particular neighborhood, a degree from a certain university, or a family name that denotes importance. The type of group may change, but the innate desire to be a part of something important exists in all of us.
Being part of a high expectation group changes the way we think. It challenges the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. It lifts our confidence and makes us feel important.
Some neighborhoods and cities are built around the expectations of what it means to live in it. Joining an exclusive club or buying a home in a particular part of town comes with certain expectations. We gladly accept and often pursue these opportunities because it changes the way we view ourselves. It denotes importance, status, prestige, and other intangible emotions.
Within a group, expectations act as the measuring tool to gauge performance or credibility. It signals that an individual or group has deemed you worthy to join. This draws on our inner desire to belong. High expectations increase our feeling of importance, but it also increases our commitment to the community. If the expectations are low, we will stoop to meet them. If the expectations are high, we will improve ourselves to ensure we meet them. Great leaders know this is true and find ways to make this happen for the teams they lead. They realize they have the ability to turn a job into a sense of belonging and community. They are willing to put in the hard work and high levels of intentionality because the results are worth it.
So how do you know if you are part of a high expectation group? Here are a few ways you can tell:
- You are attracting great candidates because they want to be part of the work you are doing.
- Everyone in the group feels confident that others in the group will do what is asked of them.
- You are able to consistently achieve results that would be impossible for others.
- Members do not want to leave. They are willing to turn down better personal opportunities for the sake of the group.
Every high expectation group began with someone saying they wanted something better. It takes someone to take the first step and raise the overall bar for others. If you want to be part of a high expectation group, you have the ability to make it happen.