Here is a small sampling I really enjoyed from my book with Don Shula, Everyone’s A Coach.
The way managers treat people is powerfully influenced by what they expect of people. If a manager’s expectations are high, productivity is likely to be excellent. If expectations are low, productivity is likely to be poor. It is as though there were a natural law that caused a person’s performance to rise or fall to meet his or her manager’s expectations. My wife Margie has often said that one of the reasons she didn’t get into trouble when she was a young person was that she knew her parents expected the best of her and knew she would be a good role model for her younger sisters. She never wanted to let her parents down.
If you have someone working for you whom you don’t think much of, I think it’s your ethical responsibility to get that person transferred to another department or team. Because no matter how hard you try, you’re likely to treat him as if he isn’t any good. And he’ll prove you right every time! I ask people all the time, “Given the amount of time you spend at work, would you rather spend that time being magnificent or ordinary?” What do you think they say? They shout out, “Magnificent!” And yet, are most of the people in organizations performing magnificently? Of course not. And a key reason is the self-fulfilling prophecy that starts in the heads of leaders, managers, coaches, and parents, with the belief that most people are lazy, unreliable, and irresponsible. This belief plays out in how they treat people and ultimately in how those people perform. People generally respond well to leaders, managers, coaches, and parents who have high expectations and genuine confidence in them. So believe in the abilities of your people, students, and kids, and they will be more likely to believe in themselves.