Expect to Win

“Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one’s levels of aspiration and expectation.”

~ Jack Nicklaus

Expect to Win

By Stephen Covey

According to Greek mythology, Pygmalion, the king of Cyprus, carved an ivory statue of the ideal woman. He named her Galatea. She was so beautiful that Pygmalion fell in love with her, and because of his deep desire and will for her to be real, with the help of the goddess Venus, he was actually able to bring her to life, and they lived happily ever after.

This ancient myth has come to serve as a metaphor that illustrates the power of expectation. While this phenomenon is commonly referred to as the ‘Pygmalion effect,’ it’s also been called the Galatea effect, the Rosenthal effect, self-fulfilling prophecy, positive self-expectancy, confidence, optimism, or just plan faith. In modern times, it’s been made popular through the musical My Fair Lady, a modern Pygmalion story in which a professor’s expectations become the catalyst that inspires the transformation of a Cockney flower girl into a lady.

The principle is simply this: We tend to get what we expect – both from ourselves and others. When we expect more, we tend to get more, when we expect to get less, we tend to get less.

From: Covey, S.M.R. (2007). The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, New York: Free Press.

Reprinted with permission from the OSU Leadership Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-3114, http://leadershipcenter.osu.edu

Coaching Call To Action

This week manage your expectations. Look at where you are holding you, your team and/or your business back. What will you do to raise your expectations?