(Too) Great Expectations

It’s fall, and that means sports in my house (youngest plays baseball, while oldest plays soccer). Every season, I’m amazed each and every time at some parents and their out-of-whack expectations of their young kid’s success – and at some of the things these parents will say. Overheard at one baseball practice?

“Quit throwing like a girl! Why are you throwing like a girl?” (FYI: that was his mom. Imagine a female redneck voice, and you’ve captured the moment).

The problem with comments like this (aside from the fact that it’s just plain mean to the kids)? They serve as a demonstration that the expectations these parents have are completely above and beyond what their kids can do now. Was I thrilled that my youngest got the game ball last Saturday? Of course! But I’m even more thrilled to see my kids work hard, improve, grow, and have a great time over the season.

The expectations that some parents place on their kids led me to think about the great expectations we sometimes have in business. While it’s great to “think big”, it’s also vital to think realistically and get those expectations in line, both short term and long term, with the steps your business must take to make the bigger goals happen.

We at Bank Director are looking forward to next year’s inaugural Growth Conference in New Orleans. Growth doesn’t happen overnight, and any creative growth initiative is going to require building blocks. Want to make that mobile app happen? Make sure you’ve got the services in place to do that. Want to branch out into social media? Make sure you’ve got a strategic plan built behind it. You’re a community bank wanting to compete with the big dogs? Make sure you’ve got the steps in place to offer the products and services your customers expect.

While I applaud great expectations in business – where would we be without the visionaries that “think big”? – if the building blocks aren’t in place, even the greatest ideas could fail. Lay the foundation, and in a few short years you could be amazed at how far you’ve come.

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