Facilitate Performance, Don’t Appraise It

Ah the annual performance appraisal! Let’s deconstruct this.  Annual means every year.  Performance means accomplishment. Appraisal means offering a judgment on the value of something or someone.  So the annual performance appraisal is a yearly judgment of another person’s value to the organization. Continue reading

Hidden Leadership Lesson #32

A leader is one who others have chosen to follow.  So because leaders require followers, it is imperative that the leader be a person of utmost integrity.  Knowing who you are and what you stand for and embodying this in your way-of-being is paramount.  Moreover integrity is the antecedent to trustworthiness. Why is this important?  Who among us would decide to follow another who wasn’t worthy of our trust!  Continue reading

Divest or Invest

Profit can be realized in the short-term by divesting and over the long term by investing.  In the former management cuts costs, most likely by firing people and/or squeezing more out of those who remain.  Because you can only squeeze people so much before the lifeblood of the people and the business runs out, this approach is quite shortsighted. Continue reading

Performance Appraisal: Pathway to Mistrust

Robert Galford’s HBR Blog Network article, “How to keep your cool during a performance review” suggest there is a widespread abhorrence and likely fear of the annual performance review.  To make what is often a not-so-good experience better Robert offers four tactics: relax; prepare yourself to hear one or more unexpected ‘somethings’; if you don’t agree with the feedback, don’t launch into a defense right away; and when it is over, say thank you, reflect on the overall message and don’t file it and forget it.   While these are no doubt helpful toward making lemonade out of a lemon, they don’t mitigate the overall effect of the annual performance appraisal process. Continue reading

Rethinking a Fixed System

Is the system broken?  No, not at all!  It is fixed just as desired.

 

Our economic system has no (explicit) concern for ‘we’ in its design, it is all about ‘me’ getting what I can for ‘myself’—it is best labeled an egoistic economic system.  The pursuit of material self-interest is the guiding principle for all action. Continue reading

Hidden Leadership Lesson #31

Those in authority can provide leadership experience to people in their organization by striving to provide them the opportunity to realize joy in work.  Accordingly, in a New York Times interview, Ori Hadomi (CEO of Mazor Robitics) asserts, “It’s important that people are happy in what they do. I believe my role is not to make people work but to give them the right working conditions so that they will enjoy what they do.”  Although few would argue against a people-centered management approach yet far too many don’t put it into practice.  Continue reading

A Wake Up Call

The fact that Wall Street and other corporate executives are not only allowed but helped in gaining so much from the general public while they generally thumb their nose at the general public is not the problem, though it is symptomatic of a serious problem.  The fact that more and more people continue to lose so much ground is not the problem, though it is symptomatic of a serious problem.  The fact that our elected officials (the representatives of the people of society) are not just emissaries but employees of those contributing vast amounts of money to their livelihood is not the problem, though it is symptomatic of a serious problem.  I could go on almost endlessly, but the point is that these are just effects of our problem. Continue reading

What If

Jonathan Askin, Professor at Brooklyn Law, characterizes the people of Occupy Wall Street as a 21st Century reincarnation of the What If Generation of the 1960’s Vietnam Protesters.  As Askin noted, instead of asking, “what if there was a war and nobody came” today’s protesters are asking such questions as “what if we had bailed out the homeowners.” Continue reading

Reformer Education

A recent Huffington Post article describes the agreement and disagreement between Arne Duncan (Secretary of Education) and Dennis Van Roekel (President of National Teachers Association) over the preparation and evaluation of teachers respectively.  Sadly what is not being discussed—as can be inferred from the article—is the very process of learning. Continue reading

Hidden Lessons in Leadership #29

In a New York Times interview Andrew M. Thompson, co-founder and C.E.O of Proteus, spoke about how he advances the capability of his company by creating and maintaining what he calls “ a leadership culture as opposed to a management culture.”  As Andrew noted, “culture in our company is a really big deal, and we have a values system built around quality, teamwork and leadership.” Continue reading