Great Expectations Lead to Great Performance

Last Updated Apr 30, 2008 1:56 PM EDT

  • The Find: When managers have high expectations for employees, they're three times more likely to get superior performance.
  • The Source: Research from Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Management.
The Takeaway: If you want exceptional results, forget cracking the whip and running down your team for being less than stellar. Researchers at Tel Aviv University analyzed 25 years' worth of study results looking at leadership in everything from banks, to the Israeli defense force, to summer camps, and came up up with one unequivocal result: High expectations of employees leads to improved performance.

In one study, researchers divided bank managers into two groups. One group was told their employees were exceptional, the other that their employees were merely average. In fact, there was no difference between the two groups of employees. The branches managed by supervisors who were lead to expect great things from their employees ended up being more profitable.

Professor Eden of the Faculty of Management sums it up: "if a leader has high expectations... It means that he or she will have a three times greater chance of being above-average."

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.