by Gary Ryan Blair
Change is inevitable – growth is optional. Change knocks the wind out of all
good plans. Unless performance is reviewed on a regular basis growth becomes
stunted. We get what we inspect, not just what we expect. Attention
Be uncompromising in areas that permit no compromise, such as inspecting
expectations. Do not hesitate to evaluate your progress. If you believe that
taking time to inspect your expectations is incompatible with progress,
rethink your definition of progress.
Inspection actually expands time by helping to maintain focus. If you do not
use time properly through regular inspections, you burn it through neglect.
Just as DNA is built into every cell of your body, the combination or DNA of
achieving any goal requires the inspecting of expectations.
Inspection has a dual purpose: First, inspection tells you where you are in
relation to where you want to be. Second, it tells you how you’re doing in
the process of pursuing your goals. You must evaluate whether the actions
you are taking are going to produce the results you desire. It is important
to perpetuate and amplify those actions that produce desired results
You are your own judge, jury and executioner when it comes to evaluating a
goal and deciding what actions to take, be that changing tactics or dropping
the goal completely.
When you know for certain that you are on the wrong road, you change course.
But if you are driving along ignoring landmarks and road signs, you may
continue on the wrong road for a long time without knowing you are lost. You
will make progress only if you take time to inspect and learn from your
The purpose of measuring performance and inspecting expectations is to
improve performance. You must know how you are performing the “must do”
actions necessary to achieve your goals.
Inspecting expectations allows you to know what you are looking for before
you actually see it or review it! The time to establish expectations is when
you establish your overall plan. That way you can evaluate the tasks before
you, prepare yourself mentally, and pace yourself. Start off knowing the
rules, and how it must be played to be successful. Inspections reinforce
An inspection process will make you aware of performance gaps. It is this
white space that must be managed to achieve the results you desire.
Look at this a personal performance audit, like a balance sheet which
quickly informs you of your assets and liabilities. Checks and balances. You
will undoubtedly see and feel changes in your life. They will be distinct
and noticeable upon inspecting expectations.
It’s important to understand that NO plan holds up against the weight of
opposition and adversity. The shelf life of all plans become outdated if not
reviewed and updated.
Good intentions while honorable are of little use when you let years of
potential and possibility slip by uninspected.
The old adage of “Don’t Expect If You Don’t Inspect” especially holds true
in setting and achieving a goal. Many serious problems begin with small
items that go unnoticed by the untrained and undisciplined eye. Changing
them at this time can be considered a low maintenance activity. If left
unattended they become high maintenance and unsavory.
And if you don’t inspect your progress and results, how will you know when
you deserve a good pat on the back for a job well done?
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