Bridging the Gap: Insights on Autonomy, Expectations, and Success

Aviral Vaid

Hatched by Aviral Vaid

Aug 28, 2023

4 min read


Bridging the Gap: Insights on Autonomy, Expectations, and Success


In the ever-evolving landscape of business and productivity, understanding the key factors that drive success is crucial. Two intriguing aspects that often come into play are autonomy and expectations. In this article, we will explore the findings from the 2022 product insights report and delve deeper into the relationship between autonomy and a strong understanding of the product vision. Additionally, we will discuss the profound impact of expectations and how they can shape our perception of reality. Finally, we will offer actionable advice based on these insights to help individuals and teams thrive in their endeavors.

Autonomy and Product Vision:

One of the key takeaways from the 2022 product insights report is the inverse relationship between the number of full-time employees in a company and the clarity of the product vision for product team members. Surprisingly, as companies grow and more employees are added to the mix, the understanding of the product vision diminishes. This discrepancy highlights the importance of granting autonomy to product teams. Autonomy not only fosters a sense of ownership and motivation within teams, but it also has a positive impact on the overall success of the business. Teams with high levels of autonomy are nearly five times more likely to be engaged at work compared to those with low levels of autonomy. This insight underscores the significance of empowering teams and granting them the freedom to make decisions and contribute actively to the product's vision.

Expectations and Perception of Reality:

Expectations play a pivotal role in shaping our emotions and perceptions. It is not the magnitude of an event or finding the right answer that generates excitement; rather, it is the contrast between our expectations and the reality that delivers the emotional impact. This phenomenon is evident in various aspects of life, such as our eyesight, relationships, or freedom. Often, we tend to take things for granted, failing to recognize the true value they hold. This tendency stems from our innate ability to become accustomed to our surroundings and circumstances. However, by actively acknowledging and appreciating the gaps between our expectations and reality, we can cultivate a greater sense of gratitude and fulfillment.

Connecting Autonomy and Expectations:

Interestingly, the concepts of autonomy and expectations are intertwined. Granting autonomy to individuals and teams allows them to shape their own expectations and take ownership of their work. When individuals have the freedom to make decisions and contribute to the overall vision, they are more likely to set higher expectations for themselves. Conversely, low levels of autonomy may lead to diminished expectations, potentially resulting in individuals minimizing their potential and feeling disengaged. It is crucial for leaders and managers to recognize the relationship between autonomy and expectations and create an environment that fosters both.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Foster a culture of autonomy: Encourage and empower individuals and teams to take ownership of their work and contribute actively to the product vision. Provide opportunities for decision-making and encourage creative problem-solving. This autonomy will not only enhance motivation but also contribute to the overall success of the business.
  • 2. Embrace the power of gratitude: Develop a habit of acknowledging and appreciating the gaps between expectations and reality. Cultivate gratitude for the achievements, big or small, and the opportunities for growth that arise from these gaps. By embracing gratitude, individuals can shift their perspective and find joy in the journey towards success.
  • 3. Set realistic expectations: While it is essential to aim high and strive for excellence, it is equally important to set realistic expectations. Recognize that not every action will lead to an immediate positive outcome. Understand that success often arises from a minority of actions taken. By setting realistic expectations, individuals can avoid feelings of discouragement and maximize their potential for success.


Understanding the relationship between autonomy, expectations, and success is crucial for individuals and teams striving for excellence. The 2022 product insights report sheds light on the significance of granting autonomy to product teams and the positive impact it has on both engagement and the overall success of the business. Additionally, recognizing the role of expectations in shaping our perceptions of reality allows individuals to cultivate gratitude and appreciation for the journey towards success. By fostering a culture of autonomy, embracing gratitude, and setting realistic expectations, individuals and teams can navigate the ever-changing landscape of business with confidence and achieve remarkable results.

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