No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him; it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction.
~ Charles Francis Adams.
The first thing to understand about exceeding expectations is this: The expectations you exceed today become the seed for new opportunities in the future. This may seem to be an obvious fact, but many people fail to connect today’s actions with future opportunities. By that I mean they approach exceeding expectations as a one-off special event rather than a way of life. Exceeding expectations is a foundational attitude and something that you have to pursue daily. Exceeding expectations is a proactive effort that is always looking for a way to express itself. Exceeding expectations is a completely voluntary activity and when it becomes foundational to the way you think it has the power to elevate value and become the seed for new opportunity. It is rare for anyone to exceed expectations unless they do it on purpose. To exceed expectations on purpose means that you have an understanding of expected performance, and you realize that expected performance is in no way extraordinary. It becomes tougher when you realize that exceeding expectations requires more effort to surpass what might be described as “acceptable performance.” Acceptable performance is in fact mediocrity and mediocrity is usually the norm. The problem is that it’s hard to sell mediocrity! Understanding how expectations are created is the first step in being able to exceed them in a positive way. Expectations come from our experience. As our experience changes, our expectations change, too. Remember, consistency is the evidence of belief. Keep smiling at the person in the mirror.