It’s All About Two Words. SUPPORT and EXPECTATIONS.

As 2016 kicks off, both small business owners and corporate executives alike will be executing their business plans at the work place.   We know that leadership and culture are two big factors that can make a business or a division of a company become successful.   I thought I would start off 2016 with a simple exercise I have used over the years to help you avoid making the biggest leadership mistake you can ever make.

“It’s all about two words.  SUPPORT and EXPECTATIONS.”—-Ted Jenkin

If you put these two words together, I’m going to give you four different equations to consider.  If the math is done correctly, you can lead your business or company to a high level of success along with outstanding retention.  If the math is done incorrectly, you’ll be scratching your head as why the explosion went off in your business with a mess larger than Three Mile Island.

  • Expectations With Support = TRUST
    Happiness is often all about expectations met or unmet.  One of the huge leadership mistakes made when a new hire is brought into your company is not setting proper expectations about what is expected of them.  In fact, this can be true of an entire company is the leadership structure is not set up right from the top.   In order to creating a trusting work environment, you have to set proper expectations while also providing the necessary support for that person/organization to do their job(s).
  • Expectations With NO Support = MISTRUST
    So now you have set proper expectations and everyone knows exactly what their role is and what they need to accomplish to hit your company goals.  However, you haven’t provided them with enough coaching, training, or financial resources to get their job done correctly.  You haven’t invested anytime to give them critical feedback on how they could be doing their job better.  Over time, an organization that has been delivered high expectations with little to NO support will become distrustful.    They will eventually make statements like, “I wonder when the next layoffs are going to come so I can get a new title with more job responsibility and the same pay.”  This is a long tail dangerous way to lead and organization and could cost you dearly.
  • NO Expectations With Support = STUPID
    Stupid is as stupid does as Forrest Gump would say. Have you ever heard that term don’t throw good money after bad money?  There are business that continue to throw money at problem and people hoping their organization will get better, when the real problem is nobody knows exactly what is expected of them.  Sometimes, they refer to this as mushroom management.  Feed them s**t and let them grow in the dark.   You would think that this couldn’t happen in a normal organization, but when leadership gets lazy they stop doing things such as team meetings, mid-year/year end reviews, no coaching feedback, and thus employees keep getting paid not knowing what direction the ship is running.  It’s just plain stupid to spend money and not expect anything for it in return.  Just ask your next employee who spends half their day shopping on Amazon.
  • NO Expectations With NO Support = DISASTER
    This is leading like the Titanic sinking in the ocean.   Why in the world would you lead people or run a company where you don’t care about the outcome and you provide no support to achieve the outcome.   You would be better off just taking your money and first class flight to Las Vegas and have a good time blowing your money that way.   While it seems silly to even mention this one, it happens in companies all the time.  Employees are leaderless not knowing what is expected of them or even what the vision, mission, or goals of the company are for the year.  They also get no coaching, development, or training. In essence, you just flush money down the drain.

If you work hard to build support with expectations, you’ll have a good chance of leading a healthy organization that is poised for success.  If your leadership skills lead you down the path of no expectations and no support, get ready to hit the proverbial iceberg and watch your organization sink to the bottom of the ocean.

Written by:
Ted Jenkin

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Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express.  He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial.  You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin

About the author  ⁄ Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves


My friends and family all think I’m a workaholic, but I say I’m just a guy that loves to help people do better in life.

My mother is still the only one that calls me by my real name Theodore Michael, my wife calls me Teddy, but for the rest of you it is just plain old Ted.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved money and being an entrepreneur. In fact, I still have cassette tapes of me talking to my grandmother at the age of five and my mother tells me all the time how much I played with money as a kid...

Read More About Ted Here

Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor regarding your individual situation. 

Background and qualification information is available at FINRA's BrokerCheck website.

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