I saw this parenting advice today:

“The healthiest kids come from environments that do two things: encourage them with warmth and give them high expectations.”

While it certainly applies to parenting, the advice is universally sound.

Substitute the word kids with words like relationships, teams, enterprises, schools. You get it. They all work better and grow stronger if we encourage and create high expectations.

Years ago, I worked in a plant that suffered from poor attendance. We hired more people than we needed to ensure we had enough. We couldn’t do that today if we wanted to. The manager had low expectations of his team. He expected them to let him down.

Despite that poor attendance culture, we hired a young manager with zero attendance issues. I asked his secret.

He said, “It’s simple. If you’re going to work for me, you must be here.”

Now, we know it’s more complex than that. From day one, he addressed attendance. The expectation was high. He confronted, cajoled, advised, and bought alarm watches. Everywhere a new guy looked, he saw others showing up for work. He saw it was reasonable. Important. It made a better, more productive team.

This is how you roll as a parent, a brother, a friend, and a leader. Encourage others. Inspire them by expecting them to be better.