by Bill, by Richard, Leadership

What Are YOU Expecting?

2 Comments 09 June 2014

Before the World Cup soccer games even start, U.S. men’s head coach, Jurgen Klinsmann has apparently relegated his team to loser status, in what has been termed a “brutally honest and realistic assessment of their chances.” According to Coach Klinsmann, “We cannot win the World Cup because we are not at that level yet.”

Really? Really?! The 1980 U.S. Men’s Olympic ice hockey team wasn’t considered by many to be at that level either, but I’m fairly sure their coach, Herb Brooks didn’t point that out to them, and the “Miracle on Ice”  happened. That team was a long shot as well, but they won anyhow. Why? Because they prepared to win, they believed they could win (nobody in the same uniform was telling them otherwise), and because they let their play and the scoreboard, not the oddsmakers, determine the outcome.

Whether in sports, life, or, more relevant to this forum – business and the workspace, one of the essential characteristics of good leaders is that they are optimists, period. They don’t get up in the morning, consult the handicap sheets, and then determine whether they’re going to be optimistic that day. They know that they are going to give their best effort, they expect the same from those around them, and believe that as a result, good things will happen. You get what you expect to get. What are YOU expecting?


A pathfinder in the arena of leadership and employee engagement Bill Catlette is an Executive Coach, Advisor to Management, Conference Speaker, and Business & Workplace Author. He helps leaders connect the dots between People, Passion, Performance and Profit, hone their leadership skills, and achieve demonstrably better outcomes. For more information about Bill, his partner Richard Hadden, and their work, please visit their website, or follow them on Twitter.


- who has written 239 posts on Contented Cows.

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2 Comments so far

  1. Rob Morris says:

    Thanks Bill. Another great reminder of how leaders can set the tone. I’d be curious to hear your take on what pessimism delivers aside from failure if anything.

  2. Bill Catlette says:

    Thanks, Rob for the kind note. It’s good hearing from you.

    We’re realistic enough to realize that workplaces aren’t “happy – happy zones”, yet observant enough to note that people won’t follow a pessimist very long or far. To your point, I can’t think of a thing that pessimism gains us. Nothing, nada.

    There’s a huge difference between being realistic (even grimly so) with people, and offering no hope whatsoever. As Napoleon is credited with saying, A leader is a dealer in hope.”

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