Have you ever visited a local fast food drive through, placed your order, paid and then driven away, taken the first sip of your drink and realized, just as you pull out of the parking lot, that the drink you got isn’t the drink you ordered? You ordered diet, but got regular. Or, taken a bit of your cheese burger only to realized that you ordered extra pickles, and got no pickles.
What was your first reaction? Frustration? Anger? Surprise? Disgust? Shock?
What thoughts ran through your mind about the staff of the drive through window? Unable to hear clearly? Not paying attention? Unable to juggle all the orders? Not caring?
Maybe you were thrilled. Maybe you ordered the small and got the medium order of fries, and that made you feel special, or at least fortunate. Maybe you felt that the drive through order taker really wanted to make your day by throwing in something extra.
Your response probably depends on the “direction” of the miss — did you get more than you asked for, less than you asked for, something different than what you asked for (which can be a positive or a negative)?
How does this relate to your inside entrepreneurial venture?
When you set expectations that you’ll deliver what you promise, or what’s asked of you, and instead you deliver something else, be sure that your deliverable is actually better than what was expected…and, remember that it’s not your expectations and judgement about what exceeds or falls short, but rather the expectations of the receiver.
Photo licensed under Creative Commons 2.0 via Flickr user: BernardBoyGenius