Most Carolina basketball fans have great expectations each time they enter the Dean Dome, but most probably don’t know that expectations were high long before hoops and basketballs came near the place.

On the very first day of construction on the Dean E. Smith Center back in 1982, when all you could see was sea of hard red clay, Joe Hakan,  from the architectural firm  Hakan/Corley & Associates, gathered all the contractors together for a chat.  

Joe told them  that he didn’t want to see a single hat or tee shirt or sweatshirt from Duke or N.C. State or any other school.   While on the job, each worker was expected to show loyalty to UNC-Chapel Hill.  

Some balked at first, but Joe explained that it was Carolina paying the bills and so Carolina should receive loyalty in return.   As a reinforcing reminder, each was given a “Blue Heaven” hard hat which was to be worn on the job.

Joe’s wife, Joy Hakan, shared this story with me a few years ago during a Business Class interview.   Ever since then, I ‘ve shared it, not only in customer relationship workshops, but also in management workshops and coaching sessions to demonstrate a top tip for doing good business – to have high expectations and to make them clear.   Preferably, as Joe did at the Dean Dome,  from the very start.

Doing so typically saves much time, effort, energy and drama – and leads to better morale, productivity, performance and overall results.

Have you found that to be true?
Do you have any stories to share about great expectations?
Will you share them here or send them to

Click below to hear excerpt from interview with Joy.

Click here for a helpful reminder about expectations.

copyright 2012 – Jan Bolick & Business Class Inc