Somebody Should Do Something: Managing Expectations
At least twice during this chapter, we get a glimpse of the collective expectation Andormen have of their Queen as Rand and Mat get closer to Caemlyn. Crowded roads, low harvest, bad weather - mutterings of "The Queen should do something" are heard. It's unclear what that something should be, but the perspective of the Andormen is that it's part of the Queen's responsibility. Obviously, an all-powerful leader should be able to solve such mundane problems.
Expectation management isn't glamorous. In fact, it's probably one of the more frustrating lines of communication a leader engages in. And it's one of the most important. Whether it's publishing the integrated schedule for a complex construction project that shows an unpopular completion date or simply putting out ground rules for meetings; getting everyone on the same page is absolutely critical. It helps drive down tensions, internal and external, and allows the team to push emotions aside and focus on breaking down barriers.
Keeping everyone on the same page is equally as challenging. It requires consistent communication, a detailed understanding of the overall processes in action, and a solid grasp of the overall systems interacting. It's a constant cycle, and a leader is required to manage their own expectations in addition to everyone else's. Managing your own expectations requires a significant amount of patience and emotional intelligence. It's vital to keep an even emotional keel, especially in the processing of "bad news". It's far more productive to focus energy on impacts and workarounds than to rage at the issue. Do something: communicate!