Leadership that Exceeds Expectations

5 tips that will have people saying your leadership is ‘better than they expected!’

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Photo from 

Originally published at

Learning is its own exceeding great reward.

– William Hazlitt

When is the last time something exceeded your expectations or surprised you how good it was? Was it a great meal at a restaurant? Was it a great sunset while you were out for a walk? Was it an employee who did something remarkable? How about your leadership?… when was the last time somebody told you that you surprised them… that you exceeded their expectations as a leader?

As I was watching bits and pieces of the solar eclipse on television, I kept hearing people say how the eclipse “exceeded their expectations,” and how “it was far better than they expected.”

Of course, that got me thinking about how leaders can consistently ‘exceed the expectations’ of their people. How can leaders continuously “surprise” their people… their bosses? Here’s a quick list of five things I came up with… please feel free to add a personal experience or a tip that you think would help leaders continuously exceed their expectations.

Be Committed. I know this may seem obvious, but I’m talking about being ‘all-in’ with the projects/plans going on around your organization. When offering advice, do so in a way that shows your commitment to the results, not for getting credit. Be an encourager through your actions.

Stand Up. Speak your mind by sharing your thoughts and opinions in a helpful manner that brings solutions to the challenges. Utilize your past experiences to mentor your people. Be strong and courageous for your people; stand up for them!

Follow Through. When you start something, stick with it until it is complete… finished… out the door! Know your plan/vision and see it all the way through. Be the person who continuously encourages others to push through the challenging obstacles in your path.

Honesty… Always! Integrity has no boundaries; however, there always seems to be situations that tempt us into letting our guards down when it comes to integrity… fight the urge & temptations; always be honest and upfront about issues. If something goes wrong, own it; take full responsibility. Then, get to fixing it!

Be Present. Your people need you more than you may think. They need you to be available to talk about work; about tasks; about life! Be available for them when they need you and be willing to listen. Ensure your people can count on you.

The bottom line is many leaders simply never hear the words “you surprised me” when it comes to their leadership abilities. I believe a few tweaks in your daily routine can change that. Please share your thoughts on how you exceed your people’s leadership expectations.

“Run to Your Challenges… to Achieve Greatness & Stand Out Among Leaders!”

For more Leadership blogs, training, and coaching visit

Have Paul speak at your organization by contacting him directly at [email protected]

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


How to Communicate to Avoid Saying Sorry

by Paul Grau Jr.

Courtney Underwood: “Pay attention to the warning signs”

by Jerome Knyszewski

8 Tips to Be a Better Leader in Your Life

by Jason Berkowitz

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.