When describing what influences the behavior of individuals as they pursue their lives, you would likely include concepts associated with goals, plans, passion, desire, ego, personality, etc. In matters of human interaction as we meet, love, and work together, there is often an abiding struggle between my passion and your ego, for example, or your goals and my plans. Indeed, successful long-term personal relationships are heavily weighted on my tolerance of you today and your forbearance of me tomorrow. Give and take. And the world goes round.
But in the marketplace, affection and sentiment give way to contracts and performance, because tolerance and forbearance are always subjective, often inefficient, and sometimes unproductive. Consequently, a very powerful concept developed over the millennia that is the nucleus of how marketplace participants minimize conflict and find common ground. In classically efficient marketplace style, I’ve reduced this concept to one word: expectations.