Leadership Reviews: How Should Leaders Be Evaluated Annually

Annual performance reviews have been used for decades. The effectiveness of annual reviews have been questioned and may be just a time marker to adjust salary more than to evaluate performance. In reading Assessing the Performance of Senior Leaders, it raises a different perspective. How do we evaluate senior leaders? What dimensions should be used? Is an annual review appropriate for current or future senior leaders?

Reviews can be used to do two things:

  1. Assign accountability for overall behaviors, actions, and results
  2. Set the stage for expectations for a refreshed year ahead

Beyond performance and expectations though, time may be better spent on understanding a leader’s philosophy and values and how these have changed during a year. Annual review of senior leaders may be more about how they lead than what they specifically accomplished. Don’t get me wrong. Performance is still required but how one leads may be a better indicator of long-term performance.

Now apply this to future senior leaders. What would be the value of encouraging and guiding a future leader to develop their leadership philosophy? I would venture to say the value would be extremely high, yet how often do we do this? If not often, why not?

The stage is set for our next Authentic Leadership Dallas meeting on November 25, 11:45 am to 1:00 pm at the Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel. To RSVP and find more information, please visit our Meetup page.

Our agenda will be:

  • Quick introductions (Name and answer this question: What lesson did you learn from your last annual review?) – 15 minutes
  • What are your lessons learned in delivering and receiving an annual review? What works best for you and the future leaders you are developing? (25 minutes)
  • What role will annual reviews play in the future? Are they here to stay? What will change if they remain? Where should the focus of annual reviews lie? (20 minutes)
  • Wrap-up

We look forward to another engaging leadership conversation! Join us.

Lead Ahead: Week of December 16, 2013

The season of self-reflection is here. As leaders, taking the time to understand our successes and setbacks is essential. Doing this is what makes us stronger, better leaders. To get started, the leadership posts from Lead Change and the Authentic Leadership Dallas community provides some thoughts to consider.

Four Ways to Overcome Your Blind Spots by Tal Shnall. Key quote: “How you interpret leadership challenges, setbacks, and criticism is your choice. It’s a perfect opportunity to confront your blind spots. You can interpret them in a fixed mindset as signs that your fixed talents or abilities are lacking. The other option is to interpret them in a growth mindset as signs that you need to ramp up your approaches and effort, stretch yourself, and expand your abilities.”

Where Did You Lead in 2013? by Alan Derek Utley for Lead Change. Key quote: “Self-reflection yields self-awareness and understanding, which yields growth. As leaders we have a responsibility to learn and grow; otherwise, we become stagnant and irrelevant. This trickles down to our teams and out to our organizations. Therefore, as openly self-reflecting leaders we encourage learning, change and development in others.”

What Makes an Authentic Leader? by Jon Mertz. Key quote: “There is a smartness to authentic leaders. Smartness does not mean all-knowing; it does mean approaching your leadership craft with an authentic intelligence, knowing the impact of how you lead.”

Lead well in the week (and year) ahead!

Culture and Lessons Learned: Building and Learning

The December Authentic Leadership Dallas lunch meeting is almost here. We will meet on December 17, 11:45 am to 1:00 pm, at the Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel. Please RSVP on our Meetup page; you can find directions and other details there.

Organizational culture is known yet challenging to engage in a conversation, so our leadership conversation will focus on how you would convince someone to pay more attention to the organizational or team culture being developed. What is your elevator pitch on the need and value of corporate culture?

To help prepare, highlighted are two articles on organizational culture to read through.

What Is Organizational Culture? And Why Should We Care? Key quote: “While there is universal agreement that (1) it exists, and (2) that it plays a crucial role in shaping behavior in organizations, there is little consensus on what organizational culture actually is, never mind how it influences behavior and whether it is something leaders can change.”

Six Components of a Great Corporate Culture Key quote: “But what makes a culture? Each culture is unique and myriad factors go into creating one, but I’ve observed at least six common components of great cultures. Isolating those elements can be the first step to building a differentiated culture and a lasting organization.”

And, as this year comes to a close, taking a moment to reflect on lessons learned is always important. We will take time to learn from each leader in our community.

Looking forward to continued engaging leadership conversations!

Meeting Agenda

Our meeting is:

  • Forty-five second introduction: What do you want people to remember about you after the meeting? (10 minutes)
  • Question 1: What is organizational and/or culture? How do you explain the importance of culture to someone? (20 minutes)
  • Question 2: What lesson or insight did you learn from a setback or challenge? What lesson or insight did you learn from a success? (20 minutes)
  • Wrap-up: Next meeting and Leadercast in May.

Thank you!

Lead Ahead: Week of November 4, 2013

What interesting blogs did you read this past week? Feel free to share an interesting leadership blog post you read in the comment section below.

As we look back the past week, highlighted below are what community members from Authentic Leadership Dallas and Lead Change wrote. It is a mix of responsibility, working in challenging situations, getting people to join in and follow, and hope.

The R Word and Leadership by Tal Shnall. Key quote: “People who are afraid of admitting failure shouldn’t seek leadership roles. In a lot of ways leading is about taking risks and having the courage to take one hundred percent responsibility for what happened.”

Adversaries Into Allies by Bob Burg by Mike Henry. Key quote: “And the depth of that unconsciousness is very dangerous when it comes to influence and personal relationships. For me, becoming consciously aware of the clash of belief systems is the first step to becoming more relational and influential.”

Marketing Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy by Krista Kotrla. Key quote: “Maybe your greatest leadership opportunity is to be that first follower and courageously inspire others to follow. Remember, there is no movement without a first follower.”

Hope Is a Conversation by Jon Mertz. Key quote: “Hope seems hollow often. Just when we are ready to give up on hope, we see beauty happen.”

Lead well in the week ahead!

Reading Behind to Lead Ahead: Week of September 9, 2013

Check out the latest leadership blog posts written in the past week. The highlighted posts come from Dallas area leaders and members of the Authentic Leadership Dallas and Lead Change communities. Some good leadership points ahead!

How Great Leaders Elevate Their Teams by Tal Shnall. Key quote: “People want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They dream of saying, ‘I did this. I helped create that.’ People know such big moments are sometimes rare. Great leaders recognize those moments and help people actualize them.”

Words Matter by Jon Mertz. Key quote: “Our words can stream out fast and furious or slow and painful. In either case, passion is wrapped around them.”

3 Warning Signs for Responsible Leaders by Mike Henry. Key quote: “I’ve come to notice some warning signs in my speech. These are words that help me identify when I’m not being a character-based leader. Whenever I use these words, I’m avoiding a character attribute that is valuable to me. For each one, I try to let them trigger me to change my thoughts and my behavior. The 3 Warning Signs are ‘but’, ‘they’, and ‘need’.”

Leadership at Any Level by Chris Westfall. Key quote: “‘I’ve thought this through’ is the mantra of leadership at any level. Your ability to see a situation in terms that others can trust is the first step in moving your team forward.”

Lead well in the week ahead!