3 Simple Ways to Exceed Expectations and Establish Personal Leadership Brand


“Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself – and be lenient to everybody else.” – Henry Ward Beecher

Success in life often hinges on two key elements: your ability to push yourself to greatness, and to exceed the expectations of others. Being a champion takes effort. The payoff is wonderful and builds your personal brand and repertoire.

Woman climbing a rock, exceeding her expectation
Whether you are in an academic setting, professional setting, or life situation, there are certain expectations. We have expectations of our own. We expect the sun to rise and the sun to set. Sometimes our expectations are exceed by an awesome sunset or sunrise.

Typical societal expectations are punctuality, clear communication, respect for others, good attitude and being a team player. Professors in academia may set high standards for students to push them to what seems beyond the limit. They do this to drive the point home and stretch the minds of those learning. Managers review an employee’s progress, evaluating where they were, where they are, and where they should be. Goals are often set together.

As you can see, there are many opportunities not just to meet, but to exceed expectations. The direct benefit of doing so often comes with a greater sense of self worth, an open mind, and new doors opening themselves to you.

Three simple ways you can exceed the expectations of others

1. Understand the expectation

Some may say that curiosity killed the cat, but that is far from the truth. It makes creativity happen. Creativity will in turn open your mind to assist you in your efforts to do your best. Ask questions! Don’t assume, because you know what happens when you do. Nothing. Don’t stifle yourself by not asking questions. Even if you think you know it all, be humble, and use the resources available to you.

2. Put in the effort

Yes, it can be tempting to do the bare minimum. But what will separate you from the others? Somewhere in your body there is a competitive bone. Put it into action. Think of a farmer. When they till the field, plant the seed, maintain and protect, the finished product is ripe and ready to harvest. It’s no different in your effort. Put in the preparation, then progress through and reap the final benefit.

3. Strut your stuff

No one really likes someone with a big head, but it is OK and encouraged to let your accomplishments be known. Yes, being humble is important, but don’t let it totally overshadow your hard earned credentials! The very fact that you took the time to understand the expectation and put in the work gives you the right to strut just a little bit.

Don’t walk away from this post thinking, oh well I already knew that! That’s the point. You did already know this. But have you been putting it in to action? As simple as some things may be, we often neglect to follow them. Try remembering this as you dig in to your next project and plant that seed.

Question: What are you doing now to exceed expectations?

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About the Author: Mark Mathson regularly exceeds expectations through helping individuals and organizations get found on the Internet, initiate more leads and convert a higher amount of those leads into customers through implementing Internet marketing campaigns. He enjoys conversing on Twitter and growing and adding value to his network on LinkedIn.

(Photo credit: vfowler)

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