Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Same expectations?

Is the thrill of winning greater as the underdog or favorite?

Last night, unranked UCLA defeated #18 Tennessee 27-24 in Rick Neuheisel's first game has headcoach. Keven Craft, an untested UCLA quarterback, craftily guided a second half comeback that culminated with an overtime victory. The Rose Bowl erupted with joy and sports columnists around the nation praised the victory. Yes, the game was incredible and a proud accomplishment for UCLA, especially as Coach Neuheisel is rebuilding the program.

But do we praise all victories the same?

For years USC, the Bruin's crosstown rival, walks into the game and is presumably the favorite to win. Under Pete Carroll, the team is 76-14 (over an 80% winning percentage). Typically, the Trojans deliver a victory and their accomplishments are also hailed. But do we cheer louder for the underdog?

A victory is a victory. However, it seems that when one team surpasses its expectations, the cheer always resonates a little louder with the media. The victory is discussed longer and the game's highlights are played more frequently. ...Remember Appalachian State's victory over Michigan last year? Or dare I say, Stanford's victory over USC?

Do we react the same in the workplace? If an employer's expectations are too high or becomes accustomed to perfection, does he or she not react well enough when an employee delivers? Do we overreact when an employee exceeds our expectations? Give credit where credit is do, but be careful of overreacting and don't neglect to recognize all individuals when they deliver results ...no matter the expectations.

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