Thursday, June 30, 2011

Unmet Expectations

My father passed away ten years ago, and from the time I was a young boy I can remember him telling me about his best friend.  They did everything together: pretended to be Charlie Chan detectives, went fishing, played on the high school basketball team and were President and Vice President of the Student Body.  Both of them had tremendous potential, and after high school went off to pursue their dreams.

Finding A Calling
My father pursued his dream of becoming a concert pianist, first at Ithaca College and then at Yale.  It was only after he was a year into his Graduate studies that he felt called by God and switched to the Divinity School.  He went on to have a successful career as a United Methodist Minister.

His friend however did not see his dreams realized in the same way.  He headed off to Colgate University but never quite found his place in the world.  Following graduation he worked in the newspaper business although he had not studied advertising.  He just seemed to make his way along the path that presented itself to him.

Unrealized Expectations
What is it about planning, goal-setting, and personal expectations that fill us with such hope?  I sometimes wonder if everyone is as hungry for the next step along the career journey as I am.  Often the next step is a bold new approach to making my organization stronger, or more current, or….well, it could be anything other than remaining stagnant and using the good ‘ol days as an excuse to avoid trying something new.  When we see the world passing us by, do we start to feel as if we have not fully met the personal expectations we set for ourselves so many years ago?

How About You
Think back to when you were “just starting out.”  What expectations did you have for yourself?  Were you going to graduate from college, or land a management job, or own your own firm?  How are you doing so far?  How about those around you that are struggling…how are you helping them realize their full potential?

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of bjorn


  1. Very intriguing post. This is a difficult subject for me because my life has honestly exceeded expectations !! After I decided to enter HR coming out of college (on purpose), I've had highs and lows, but nothing I would change. And now, the HR landscape has opened doors to me I never "expected", but I relish the chance to communicate with folks across the globe and to see how that makes an impact. I've been very fortunate and blessed to be honest. I don't take any of this for granted.

    Thanks for poking our thoughts every time you post. You stretch me and others and that is a gift !!

  2. Thanks for your comment Steve. It's great to hear from folks who are not only doing what they love, but that have great perspectives on their success!

  3. "I still haven't found what I'm looking for"