395: How to Set Clear Expectations to Get Good Results?
The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten

Full episode transcript -


everybody. This is Stelly, Effie, and this is heating shot. And today on the starter kit, we're gonna talk about how to create and how to set clear expectations. You like talking about more than your sales and market. We just want a bullshit and chat about business and life. And hopefully, while we're doing that, provide along value to be the world's best business for people trying to get shit done. Yeah, we don't want to give you feedback.


That's bullshit. You


want you to do your best? I mentioned this subject to heat a second ago before I hit the record button. And sometimes I wish I would record before I record, because your first response was just beautiful. You know, your first natural, an organic reaction to how to set clear expectations was what


is just a chuckle? Yeah,


One of those things. You did it. I


don't know. I think like, uh, this is a topic that I talked to people about. This is a topic that I might have tweeted about, that I'll tweet about more. Uh, this is a topic that people a struggle with and sometimes realize that sometimes don't especially people who are starting companies or managers. Sometimes you just don't understand that they have expectations of themselves and other people. And these are the things that cost suffering for them. So my chuckle is just out of the fact that, like, I think expectations rule our life and our lives. And oftentimes we don't know what expectations we have until, like, we're hit with certain situations. And we're like,

Wow, Whoa! You know, um and yeah, like in some of my most ah, intimate as well as challenging relationships in life, I think expectations sometimes come up. Uh and, uh, they they can cause trouble or they can be really beautiful. Eso Yeah, I think the gentleness is that Wow, what a fascinating topic and what, what, what a key topic and how There's just so much you could go into around this. And you know,

we like Teoh obviously be efficient with these episodes, and we also want to ride as much value as possible in a short amount of time, which is essentially the definition of efficiency. So our expectation of ourselves is to the efficient and break things down. The expectation the audience should have from us is that we do that in every episode with every topic. And if we don't do that, tell us so. Okay,


You know what? You know how you like that? Very much so because what I love is that you instantly went into Made a moat. Couldn't like. Expected. What of the expectation for this episode? What is the expectation for the podcasts in general, right? I love it. I love it. So, yeah, there's a lot of venues we could go down to. So the thing that I would like to maybe the thing that we can touch on on this episode to set an expectation for the listener is just talk about I just want to touch high level on the concept of, like, Why our expectations so important, why they're invisible But all encompassing,

becoming more self aware of the expectations you have, you know? And why when you're frustrated with people when you're impressed by them, how How both things are so related to your own expectation and they're not things in the vacuum. People are not impressive war underwhelming or frustrating or disappointing in a bubble. There are because you had an expectation for this personal this task of this thing that it was that the delivery was either above of below your own judgment. I'm so let's talk a little bit about the major topic off expectations. I want to stay philosophical. And then let's make a commitment to the audience that we're gonna create a few more episodes on this on, like how to set expectations, how to work with expectations. You know when they're met, whether not met for projects we can like, go a bit more tactical later. But I want to stay philosophical for this one right high level. One thing that I realized and that I realized more and more is how expectations like how my expectations and the expectations of others are the birth of either,

you know, success or failure before any endeavor. Right? And I didn't used to be as aware off that as the if I don't know what my own expectations are for this thing that we're discussing or thinking about. If I don't know what exactly the expectation off this other person off these other group of people are way, don't make sure that we have clarity of expectations and set clear expectations for each other. And that those Matt then the chances off one of us, all of us being disappointed and unhappy or the thing we're discussing, being unsuccessful incredibly high, I can almost reap like I can almost go back to the root cause of a failure, whatever the failure is to a problem of expectations. And so now, more so than ever, almost in any relationship and almost in any conversation very early, the question pops up in my mind. Do I know what my expectations are?

And does this personal what my expectations are? And conversely, do I know what this first expectations are? And how do I know that I know, like, how do we know that we really are clear in this? Because 99% of the time, people think that the expectation is obvious that it was already discussed? Well, we said, We want this thing to succeed and we said we should do in a really cool way. It's obvious, right? What? What is what else is there to discuss in terms of expectations? We said it should be cool.

We should said it should be a big success, like we were on the same page without realizing you know how. Not true that statement is on that line of thinking. So I've gotten a little bit obsessed about setting expectations, getting better at it and being mawr aware off the expectations in the rooms, so to speak. So it's become a bigger, bigger topic in my mind every day in the last ah, couple of weeks hands what we're talking about this now, but I know that it's a big topic for you as well. But let's talk about why our expectations important, right? And why are people particularly typical, Lee not good at being aware of their own expectations, the other people's expectations and setting expectations and getting them on the same page?


Yeah, we grow up and expectations are set for us by our parents or whoever was around this when we grew up. And oftentimes those expectations are unclear to us. You could say their subconscious. We're not conscious to these expectations that we have of ourselves as well as of other people. For example, if you were told that you need to get a on everything in school, guess what. You have an expectation of yourself that you're going to get any on every and that you need to and you will work your butt up until you do that. That's, you know, kind of the sign of an over. Achieve it. You know, if I were to, like, box somebody,

you're labeled and so I think one of the reasons we're not conscious to it is we've lived with these expectations all our life, and they were not ours. They were put on us by other people. Meat, well meaning people. But other people know well meaning people oftentimes not all the time. And and so I like to think about it. Like if I have the easiest way for me to recognize this in my experience is that when I have a very strong demand or a strong poll toward what someone else should do or how they do it or what I'm expecting from them and it's just strong, then I really think about that. Wait, hold on. Wait. What is this like, where does this come from? Does this really make sense in this situation? And then I really started breaking it down because really,

what I'm trying to do in my life when I what I do my best at around expectations. I want to make sure that if I have them, they matter whether it's for me or somebody else. That's my only concern. Because, yes, I am gonna have expectations. And some people will tell you don't have any expectations. It leads to a happier life for some, you know, pithy quote like that. And like, Yeah, sure. Like, if I if I wasn't trying to achieve anything,

I didn't have to work with other people that they were managed them or whatever or lead them or whatever. Then, yeah, it's okay. I don't need any expectations of myself or anybody else. I just sit here and do nothing. That's nothing. Case, right? Thank. So I'm just trying to make sure that whatever expectations I have, they're good ones. They make sense, they're important for the other person. And if they're not that, it's my own bullshit. It's my own crap, and I need to check myself same with expectations for myself, but those relevant orders.


I love that because that's not where my mind immediately went with the When I have expectations. Well, is that every time we don't have expectations when we're involved, when we're truly engaged in something like maybe four, a stranger, maybe for an acquaintance. But for most of the people that are close to us in life, right family, our friends, our core girls are co founders. Are investors like the people there were really engaged with? We tend to have expectations, almost any interaction, right? It's really and and so in those directions, the questions you ask yourself is, Ah,

those expectations that I have are Do they make sense of a coming from a What does do they make sense? Mean, right? I have a few assumptions, but I want to hear from you like, How do you assess if your expectations are good quote unquote or bad or useful or useless or like, How do you? What makes an expectation a good one? Let's just say that, Yeah,


So what makes an expectation of good one? I think the expectation is a good one. If let's say, for example, you have an expectation of somebody else or yourself, and you're in a certain role, is that something that matters for that role? So if you're a marketer and your marketing and I'm managing If you can't measure your marketing and you don't understand how toe measure it, you're not gonna be able to be an effective market. So in a role of being a marketer on expectation is that you can measure the your efforts in some way. If you can't measure efforts, don't be a marketer. You should be a marker. I think that's a fair expectation of a marketer is that they can measure what they do, quantify and do more of it or learn from it. And that's the expectation. So expectation.

A lot of times that's to do with role, and I try to keep it very, very objective because subjective gets really interesting when it comes to expectations. And that's what I mean by like does it doesn't matter for the role. So, for example, if someone is a marketer and I expect them Teoh measure their marketing, that's good. If I expect them to be ableto right copy, I think that's a good expectation. If I expect them to be good at shooting video, that's probably not a reasonable expectation unless they're focused on video. If I expect them to be experts in S CEO, but they're just a marketer and they're like general marketer. That's probably not a fair expectation. That being said,

if I hire someone in their job S c O, then guess what? That's an expectation, and I would expect them to be able to do that. So a lot of this expectation has to do with the definition of a role. And I think that's what people forget, right? So, like if you're a parent, there's expectations of you and how you should, you know, be a parent like should be, you know, loving kind and and, you know, also at the same time,

be able to discipline your Children, you know, and make sure that they grow up to be, you know, ideally like contributing members of society and good people. If that's what you care about and your values are so really expectations as a parent is like, have your kids aligned with your values, Ah, and and and do the best you can on that and all that kind of stuff. But you know that expectation also when it comes to parents, is a little subjective because it's put on by society more than anything else and you know same comes for like even a marketer, right? So I would say that role matters so much when it comes to expectations and making sure that someone can live up. That's where they use that terminology, like live up to your expectations. Well,

it's like, where did the lately The question is good. Like what? How do you set them? Where did they come from? And I think, you know, ultimately it really does build on to this simple thing, which is what? Your role and what are the expectations of that? Cool.


I love that. And I think I'll add one more thing before we read the episode up on this topic. Think another criteria for me, at least for what makes a good expectation good is that it's clearly understood like that. I Yeah, you know what? If I expect something of you and you don't understand that, then the question is, was this really the right expectation of you, right? And so I think you know, when a high U. S and S e o expert, you knowing things about S E. O is an expectation that's understood, right? Because you apply for a job that said the expectations.

You an expert in Topic X and then I expect you to be an expert in that topic. But often times even in that what doesn't being an expert really mean? Like there's a bunch of bullet points. Oftentimes, you know, you should have experience in X, y and Z and and if you go bit deeper, that might be very different. Very different understanding of what these things mean, right? A t least three years of start of experience. Now somebody might have done, you know, a side hustle startup. You know why they were in a corporate job for two years on their own without ever launching and on, and then worked at a start up for a year?

And they're like, Well, I have startup issue experience for three years and maybe your expectation when you say somebody needs to have three years of sort of experiences. Somebody has had to have worked in a startup for, started a startup and, at least for three years, been operating with customers and at least have raised this amount of money. Had this amount of success right, when you say three year starter experience, you might have an expectation is very different from somebody else's three years start of experience in both of you might have said Yes, you know, this person might say Yes, I check off on that expectation when you would have said No, they don't. So I think being more specific, more granular in the way that that I set expectations so that they're harder to misunderstand.

They're harder for the other party to have a completely different understanding of what I mean makes I think of good expectation. Good or a bad expectation. Baddest. I say something that the more people could misunderstand something the easier it is to misunderstand an expectation, the worst to me, it is to have or to communicate in the first place. So, um, how you know, how easy is it to understand your expectation? Or how easy is it to misunderstand? Your expectation to me is a big part of what makes an expectation of good one. All right. I think that's it for the philosophical, virginal the expectation episode. We might do a fume or more tactical ones how to set expectation with freelancers,

Souders said. Expectation with new hires that I think can be really useful. I think this is one of those topics. Even where it's like, you know, this seems so obvious that it is that way have to create a list of things that are so obvious that almost there they can't but be misunderstood, right? Like I think, the more obvious a topic on area seems the heart. It is Teoh a team real master in it, right? Because we all just at the surface level off this thing because we've heard it so much. And we instantly think we understanding and everybody. Nobody if they're younger, old instantly things a I get it. This is not that this is not this complicated.

So I didn't need to spend a lot of time with. But these are the topics where most of us are really terrible at because of ah, lack of investment in mastery and learning and and studying it and expectations. One of these things that's like I could hear so many people listening to us and go. I get it. It's not that difficult. Tell me something cool, Something complicated. You know, something. Something new and innovative and like exciting. I don't want to hear about this bullshit. And then that's the blue area of bullshit that's holding them back in their life, holding back their start up from succeeding these basic fundamental things that we don't investigate


enough. Couldn't agree more little. We'll keep investing


way. We shall. All right, this is it for us. For this episode, we'll hear you very suit checks.

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