In the game we call life, it’s important to make sure we’re always working toward progress while also creating realistic expectations. Setting ourselves up to be true to our word and able to achieve what we say we will is what starts to build trust, alignment, agreement, and understanding. The moment we say we’re going to do something or make a far-fetched reality come true and we find we cannot get there, we’re likely going to let someone down. That’s a place we can easily avoid with a positive approach and the right communication.

I always come back to the idea of searching for what we can do, not what can’t get done, because it keeps us grounded while also allowing us to achieve what we may not have thought possible prior to a second look. It’s simply the strategy of saying yes, but setting realistic expectations around when it can get done, how it can get done, and maybe even re-evaluating the outcome to define a slightly different finished product.

What does this mean? It means looking for the possibility, but not over-committing. It’s finding a way to see things from a new angle and making something positive work without letting everyone down. When we partner together with our teams, collectively work through tough scenarios, and truly embrace the possibilities instead of the roadblocks, we can get there.

If we’re setting clear expectations from the start and not over-committing ourselves, we’re on the right track, and even setting ourselves up to exceed expectations. That might mean empowering our teammates to take on more responsibilities, or phasing our way into new plans and projects, but with the right people, clear communication, and realistic expectations set from the start, we can make it work.

The funny thing is, it always works out. I use that phrase all the time when seemingly impossible stuff hits us. If we step back, evaluate the bigger picture, think clearly, work together, and define realistic expectations with a dash of patience along the way, we can always get pretty remarkable things done.

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