Posts Tagged ‘Job Performance’

The Serving LeaderThe Serving Leader by Kenneth R. Jennings and John Stahl-Wert showcases the powerful yet paradoxical method of achieving greatness by serving others. They intertwine tales of an estranged son and his dying father within the lessons to provide insight into the five actions anyone can take to transform his or her organization or community. Serving Leadership has power and value in many different types of environments, including industries, nonprofits, schools, homes, and churches. The best Serving Leaders turn everything the world knows about traditional leadership upside down and achieve amazing results by doing so.

Serving Leaders must follow five specific and powerful actions if they want to totally transform their businesses, communities, or teams. While these five actions seem paradoxical, they have been proven to yield extraordinary outcomes:

  1. Run to great purpose. Every person, team, organization, or community needs a purpose to help fuel their work. Serving Leaders are people in pursuit of a great purpose. They articulate this purpose in a way that is so compelling that people are willing to run toward it. The leaders set the pace, and this spirit gets transferred to the people they serve.
  2. Upend the pyramid. In a traditional leadership environment, the leader is at the top of the pyramid looking down on all his or her workers, team members, and community citizens. But in a Serving Leadership environment, the pyramid is flipped upside down. In this scenario, the leaders put other people first. They give credit to others before themselves. In doing this, the people they build up will do the same for those they work with. The cycle continues.
  3. Raise the bar. While on the surface Serving Leadership seems soft, it is the opposite. In Serving Leadership environments, standards are very high. No one can join the team unless they meet very rigid criteria. Once they are there, high expectations for performance are placed on them. Mistakes may happen and can be forgiven, but training and corrections are immediately put into place. Those who cannot perform even after extensive coaching are let go.
  4. Blaze the trail. There are often very tough barriers for people to get through on the road to success. Serving Leaders move those barriers and eliminate obstacles to make success easier for those they are leading.
  5. Build on strength. While it may be common for people to think they need to work on their weaknesses, in a Serving Leadership environment, people focus on their strengths. They know their weaknesses but instead of trying to fix them, they find other people who are strong in that area and bring them onto the team.

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20-minute-manager-performance-reviewsA commonly dreaded task for managers in any field is giving their direct reports feedback during annual performance reviews. While most managers acknowledge that feedback is important, annual assessments routinely become a rushed ritual conducted to fulfill a human resources requirement rather than improve performance.

20 Minute Manager: Performance Reviews from Harvard Business Review Press serves as a comprehensive yet concise guide that outlines the full process of gathering and analyzing information, documenting the evaluation, sharing feedback in person, and using the review to set new goals and further employee development. It equips managers with the fundamental tools for transforming performance reviews into a constructive use of time for organizations, managers, and their direct reports.

Conducting productive performance reviews is a fundamental management skill, but it can be a difficult one to master. By following some essential guidelines, managers can transform reviews from stressful obligations into key assets:

  •  A manager should remain objective and gather evidence from direct observation, other employees, job descriptions, and additional sources to support the assessment with specific examples. The manager’s evaluation should be formally documented for professional, organizational, and legal reasons.
  • Employees should be involved throughout the evaluation process. Each employee should submit a self-evaluation before the review, be actively engaged during the meeting, and initiate ideas for the post-review development plan.
  • Evaluations should cover both notable accomplishments and gaps in performance. These should not be presented in the “sandwich” style of praise, critique, and more praise. Rather, managers should lead with achievements, be clear about gaps, and use both to stimulate productive conversation and new goals.
  • Performance reviews should always be followed up with a separate meeting to create a development plan. The plan should outline how employees will achieve two to four goals in the upcoming year, specific actions they will take, how managers will support them, and contingency plans if problems are encountered.
  • Gathering evidence for performance reviews, offering feedback, and checking on progress toward development plans should be a consistent, year-round feature of a manager’s job.

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