Expectations Can Make Or Break You

I mused publicly earlier today about two recent mis-steps by high profile figures, and why the blogosphere came down like a tonne of bricks on one of them and not the other. As I was doing so, the answer came to me:

Musing about different expectations

Expectations are critical.

People have lower expectations of TechCrunch than they do of a well-regarded Forrester analyst. So, when one made a mistake, there was a chorus of disapproval. However, when TechCrunch published a rumour that Twitter was in late-stage talks with Google and was subsequently forced to admit it wasn’t true revise their story, there was barely a murmour. The expectations were different.

Take that thinking and apply it to yourself. It’s easy to type words into your computer and make youself out to be wonderful, but can you match the expectations you raise? Do you preach about bad pitches then go out and spam bloggers? Do you give advice on transparency but fail to follow through? Do you put yourself up as an expert when you have little experience?

I avoid writing about some topics, or write posts that question rather than advise, because I know less about them. On other topics, however, I’m more confident and am happy to write about them. 

Think hard, because if you raise expectations and you don’t meet them, people will react much more negatively than if you did the same thing without talking yourself up beforehand.

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.