Are You Leading Like It’s 1980?

There recently was a great article from strategy + business entitled “Are You Leading Like It’s 1980“?  It talks about changing our attitude and behavior toward performance reviews to become forward-looking and productive conversations vs. backward-looking narrow perspectives that equate to ‘what have you done for me lately’?

There has been only one company I worked for where I actually looked forward to my performance appraisals. It was in the 1990’s and my manager actually used this “forward-looking” approach. I highly respected her and she was always trying to help me be a better leader and manager. We had regular open and honest conversations and because I knew she was really trying to improve my skills I was open about my shortcomings (of which there are many), and not defensive. That made for a great relationship, and in the end we were both going for the same results.

In my mind, developing people is one of the main jobs of a leader. Looking back and focusing on what an employee didn’t do right is easy. Helping an employee focus on what they can do to increase their skills and providing the tools to help them accomplish that, now that’s managing to future goals. And in the end, isn’t that what we all should be doing?


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