Ep #52: Female Leadership: Setting Expectations in Business

 In Podcast

Let’s talk about the five types of expectations women should have and implement in their businesses. By setting expectations in business that are clear, leaders can do a better job of achieving improved results and holding their team members accountable.

What you’ll find in this episode:

  1. The manual is a set of rules that you have for other people that you believe are true and that you hold other people to.
  2. Expectations are those behaviors that you expect of people who work for you that are based on the values of your business — and you DO communicate them.
  3. Standards are measurable policies and rules. They’re black and white and are born out of the values and expectations.
  4. You must have key performance measures for every role in your company.
  5. You need to establish individual goals.
  6. The majority of the issues we have in a business, when it comes to “team,” is behavior, not skill set.
  7. You have to set expectations regarding behavior because that also sets the tone for your culture.

Featured on the Show and Other Notes:

  • You can find the testimonials on my website here.
  • Team management strategy days are coming this year in select locations where you can schedule a day to spend with me. If that interests you, email hello@krisplachy.com, and say, “I would like to be on the short list for a strategy day.” Please put in the body of your email where in the world you are.
  • Follow me on Instagram here @KrisPlachyCoach.
  • I read reviews on the show! If you like this podcast, please leave a review. Go to your podcast app and find the reviews section. Thank you!
  • The Founder’s Lab is my private coaching program for female founders who are generating more than 7-figures in their revenue. It’s a complement to the Entrepreneurial Management program and is a part of the work you get as a client of mine. This isn’t a “class.” I don’t give you copious tons of things to do. I give you the ones that matter and then we keep talking about them. We apply them. That’s why it’s called the Founder’s Lab.
  • Go here to book an appointment with me.


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Podcast Transcript

Hello. Hello. Hello, gorgeous. How are you today? Welcome to the podcast. Thank you so much once again for joining me. Always love when you’re here, whether you’re putting on your makeup or driving to work or taking a run or driving your kids around. Maybe you’re sitting in a movie. I had a girlfriend tell me she takes her little kids to all these terrible animated movies that we all have to punish ourselves through our kids’ childhood. She takes her little AirPods now because they’re kind of secretive and she takes her kids to the movies and she puts the AirPods in and listens to podcasts, which I just thought was so awesome. She has long enough hair, she can cover them up, her kids don’t know and she’s having a great time and she doesn’t have to watch or learn about trolls or mountain gnomes or garden gnomes or whatever else these movies are about.

So welcome today. This is a number three for this month that we’re focusing on you as the founder, you as the boss. And today I’m going to talk to you about expectations. I wanted to share with you, I don’t do this very much. I do have a testimonials page on my website. If you go to krisplachy.com/testimonials, you can see who my clients have been, some of them anyway and what they have to say. And then last year you met a lot of my clients because I’ve interviewed them and I will be interviewing more this year, which I’m excited about. But I just get to work with some of the most amazing people. And it’s an honor. I feel very honored to be able to know these women and experienced them and help them. It’s interesting. I think we could all kind of wonder about ourselves. Like how could I be helpful to this person who has so much going on and is so successful?

And yet those are always the people who, all of us need help. All of us need someone else. That’s why I’m such a fan of coaching in general because it’s not about me knowing more than you as a coach. My belief as a coach is all I have to do is help reveal more of you to you and I do that by being very present. And I also believe very intuitive in the space that I’m sharing with you so that you can really be who you are and figure things out. You’re so used to being in charge, and the leader and advising everyone else that it’s hard to do that without having someone holding that space for you. Can you show up and be very vulnerable and work it out in a way that you aren’t able to do even, in some cases in your marriage? Just there’s this other place.

So that’s why I’m just … I hold the space that I provide to my clients is very, very important. But I’m always in awe of my clients and this past weekend especially, I really did have that thought, like how, what wind blew that put this woman in my space? I just feel so fortunate to know her and watch her shine. She’s so young, she has so much ahead of her. My client, Layla and her husband have built an incredible business. They were recently recognized at an event for being significant donors. They donated $1 million to a charitable organization. They hit huge strides in terms of revenue in their own business. And she is this real and humble and gorgeous inside and out human.

So I wanted to share with you what she said about our work together because I think there’s a lot of people like her that are listening right now who wonder about the same things. And I just wanted to share with you what her experience has been through the coaching work we’ve done. Because you might hear yourself in here and if you do, I’m hopeful it resonates that you know, like yes, there’s a place to go. So what she says is when she first started working with Kris, me, “I was running an on the outside, a very extremely successful company. But I woke every day dreading my work. I had systems in place, but they involved ME. I had people in place but they needed to GO. Since working with Kris, I no longer feel stuck or anxious for what I confront on a daily basis. I feel confident and able. Kris helped me identify where I was bottle-necking myself and implanting beliefs that dragged me down so I couldn’t take massive action to change it. I highly recommend working with Kris if you are seeing success but not feeling IT.”

It’s one thing to start a business and be successful and make the money and help the people. But is it resonating for you and a lot of the times, the reason we have this lack of feeling, this, this unmet expectation, if you will, is because we haven’t really built a business that is independent of us. And so we feel still very, very beholden to the business and to the team. So I wanted to share that with you because I want you to know if that’s you, that everyone else is sharing and collaborating and clapping you and you go home at night and feel vacant and empty, you’re not alone. And while I spent a lot of time on this podcast, really teaching you insights about leading the team, the woman leading the team is the most important element. And if you’re not engaged in your own processes, in your own business joy, then we need to work through that. Because you turned on is what your business needs most. I know that. Plus you need it, right?

So anyway, and I’ll throw one more reminder out there. I am going to be doing strategy days, team management strategy days where we look at you and we look at what’s going on for you as a founder and as an entrepreneur. And then we look at the team and we do a team audit. We look at what’s working, hiring, firing, managing, coaching, motivating, where are we working well? Where are we not working well? What needs to change? I love to help you sort of triage your current challenges and then diagnose what’s really happening so we can solve them for the future. And then we look at the business. Is the business a reflection from a culture perspective of what you want? Have you built something you want?

Sometimes we wake up like what the heck happened, right? I’m going to be doing a select number of these strategy days. If you’re interested right now, there is nowhere else to go look for this. You have to email hello@krisplachy if you want to be considered, get on the short list. We’ll let you know where and when and what your opportunities will be here shortly. Thank you to those of you who’ve already expressed interest. I’m super excited about what the future holds with this.

So let’s switch gears now. I want to talk with you about expectations and we use that word very broadly when it comes to leadership. And today I want to talk with you very specifically about what really the five key kinds of expectations are that you have and should understand as somebody who runs a business.

So I’m going to go through all five and as I’ve mentioned in the Founders Lab, we do a deep dive into this work. So if this appeals to you, if you recognize like, okay, these are all little money for me, I really would like to invite you to join me in the Founders Lab. We’re going to be talking about all this in so much more. So let’s talk about the five.

The first one is what we call the manual. This is a tool that I learned through the Life Coach School a long time ago when I was a certified as a life coach with Brooke at the Life Coach School. And we call it the manual. The manual is basically a set of rules that you have for other people or society or the weather that you believe first of all are true and that you hold other people to. So this could be as simple as it shouldn’t rain in June. Or people shouldn’t stand so close to me. Or people should listen when I talk. Or people should just understand what I say. Or people should make eye contact with me when I talk to them. So whatever the rules are that you have for people, I actually have, this is a not leadership story, but it’s so hysterical.

So I used to have a coach who worked for me and we were teaching the manual. We were learning about it, I was teaching it to them and she had this experience that day when she flew in from out of town to meet me for this meeting. And she was on an airplane. And you know, when you deboard an airplane, there’s rules, right? Like everybody follows the rules about how you get off a plane. So rows one, the first row. And the rows are kind of staggered, right? So whichever row is four inches ahead of the other one, they go first and then the next row goes and you wait for people to get their bags. Right? Like that’s how it works. We all agree. That’s the rules. That’s the manual that we’ve all been taught. Well apparently, on this plane there was somebody who didn’t know the rules and they just started marching up the aisle past everyone trying to get past them while they were getting their luggage.

And so somebody came and tried to do that to her. She was trying to get her bag down and someone’s like trying to push her out of the way so they could pass her. And she literally took her hands off her bag and she put her hands up in the air and she just yelled, “There are rules here people.” It was so classic telling the story. But it was such a perfect example, right, of our manual. The rules that we have. Like not everybody knows the rule. Does that make them wrong, and you right? It’s not like it’s a law. And even people break laws. You’ve heard this, right?

So as a leader though, you have to know your manual. And so what I do with my clients is we go through like the rules we have for others and we have to pay attention to how those are surfacing in the way that we think about people. The way that we treat people, the way that we talk to people, and we don’t even know it. Okay? So the manual is this list of things we believe are right and that everybody else would agree with us and we hold people to them, but we don’t really tell them. So I actually have this rule that you’re not supposed to stand that close to me, but I don’t really tell you that rule. I just keep backing up and you keep getting closer to me, right? I have this rule that you shouldn’t talk so much and so you’re driving me crazy. So I’m going to avoid you. Like what are the rules that we have? That’s the manual.

The next expectations that we’re going to talk about are what I actually call expectations. So there’s the manual and then there’s expectations. Expectations, and the way that I define it are those behaviors that you expect of people who work for you that are based on the values of your business and you do communicate them. So an expectation might be, tell me first, focus on solutions, not problems. These are very generic, but be a team player, right? They are clearly communicated, and the value of an expectation is it’s like an umbrella for you for all sorts of other things people could do. So if I have this umbrella around be focused on solutions and not problems, and somebody in my company is gossiping, I don’t have a policy on gossiping, but that behavior falls under the umbrella of that expectation, right?

I have an expectation of my team to be impeccable with their professionalism. That’s an expectation born out of a value of impeccability. And so somebody, I may not have a dress code, but if somebody comes to work in a pink plastic jumpsuit and it’s not aligned to the brand then I can hold them. I can have this very reasonable conversation about that. Not meeting the expectation of impeccable professionalism. So we basically want to put words to these behaviors because I’m going to tell you if you haven’t learned this already, the majority of the issues we have in a business when it comes to team is behavior, not skillset. I’m going to say that again. The majority of issues we have in the team related to performance are related to behavior issues, not skillset.

And so if we haven’t really thought about what we expect from a behavior perspective, see what happens is most of us think about what we expect from a production perspective. And we don’t define behavior and we don’t communicate it and we don’t talk about it. But that tends to be the stuff that gets us in trouble with people. Like people do really, really inappropriate, not constructive things at work, but we’ve only really set goals or set expectations for what they’re supposed to get done, not how they do it. And so then we feel very paralyzed for how to address that issue. So you have to set expectations regarding behavior because that also sets the tone for your culture.

The next one is our standards. Standards are born out of expectations, but standards are measurable policies and rules. They are much more black and white. They are typically measurable. Return calls within 24 hours, be on time to work, follow this dress code, follow this computer use policy, follow this vacation request policy. It’s defined based in more measurable outcomes or results, but they’re born out of the values and expectations. So it all flows, right? So somebody who has a behavioral expectation, let’s just say of, be a great team player and practice kindness. I don’t know, you may not have a vacation policy. Maybe you might believe that people can get done what they get done and you trust people to get their work done. So you don’t even have a PTO policy because that isn’t in alignment with your values.

Whereas someone else really does believe in a focused effort for a effortful day and they like to have policies around the time that they work, the vacation use that they have, all of it. So those policies are not required. A lot of you as entrepreneurs, you’ve never worked in a real company, right? Like a corporation. So you don’t even know what policies mean. So you start copying what other people have. It doesn’t really apply to you. That’s why I like to work with each of my clients individually. Your policies can be whatever you want them to be, but I think they’re only effective if they’re aligned to who you are as a business.

Okay. So we have manual, we have expectations, we have standards, and then we have two others that we use the word expectations a lot. But they’re different. Those three: manual expectations and standards apply sort of to everybody. Then we build some expectations around positions, roles in your company. We have key performance indicators, which I know everybody gets annoyed. Like Kris, that’s so boring. You’ve got to talk about it. What are the key measures you think about to assess the performance this person is producing in the job that they’re in? But it’s based on the job, not the person. So a key performance indicator is based on a project manager, an executive assistant role, a sales role, a IT manager role, a marketing role, a social media person role. The role itself has key measures that we want to evaluate because the role should be contributing to a result.

So every role should have some key measures. It doesn’t have to be complicated. But when we talk about expectations, you have to think about the roles in your company, not just the people. Then we put people in roles and that brings us to our final expectation, which are individual goals. So key performance measures are for the role. Individual goals are for Janice in the role, are for Joyce in the role, are for Kevin in the role. And those can vary based on experience and tenure and knowledge base and projects. So when we use the word expectation, you can see it gets very broad. So I like to make sure we know what all of these definitions are. And as the leader of the business, you’re very clear about when you use that word. So a lot of times people will just say, well, my expectations weren’t met. Which one’s? The manual that you never told anyone, the expectations that should be written down, the standards that are in a policy guide, the key performance measures for the job or the goals?

Here isn’t to confuse you. It’s to clarify. It’s to make sure that when you communicate with team members, you’re clear, but it starts with you, understanding the rules you have for other people that you never talk about. What are the expectations you have for behavior based on your values? What natural policies are an extension of that? What does each role need to contribute to your company? And then what does each individual contribute based on their role? Hopefully you got all that. Right. Good job. Have a great day. Thanks for tuning in.

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