High expectations. And how to survive them. March 16, 2017 News Christie had high expectations of her work team. And when someone said she was ‘driven’ she regarded it as a compliment. ‘I want to help them achieve their potential,’ she said. ‘So how do you feel when they let you down?’ I asked. ‘Frustrated, obviously,’ said Christie. ‘I mean, I don’t react well.’ You could see she had a lot of anger in her body, like a log-jam in a river… and it made me think about her future. I didn’t wish a life of endless frustration for Christie; it wouldn’t be good either for her or her body. There’s nothing wrong with high expectations, of course. Aim for nothing and you’ll always hit your target. The trouble is, however high we aim, life is unfair and people are damaged. This isn’t going to change. Good work isn’t always rewarded with success; and people will always be failing us in some way, not living up to our expectations. So how are we going to cope as managers? And beyond that, how are we going to stay free as humans? The answer will lie in ourselves – not in others. Both as humans and managers, we’ll each need to find our own way to stay free amid the frustrations of an unfair and damaged world. At the end of our time together, Christie said, with a big sigh: ‘I need to let go more. Definitely. I need to learn to let go.’ And you could see her body relaxing even as she spoke, like it had been allowed a holiday at last.