Appraisal sessions are always interesting with some level of discomfort on the person appraising and his / her subordinate. Sitting on several boards as well as being a boss to many individuals, I am usually the one appraising with other persons receiving feedback on their performance. Yesterday was different, however, since I was on the receiving end as I sat down with my Board Chair to assess my performance as well as that of the individuals who report directly to me.
The session was scheduled as a breakfast meeting and after a few niceties I could sense that the boss wanted us to get on with business. Whilst I came for the session well prepared with all the necessary paper work to support my position, I realized that the boss was looking out for more than what was on paper. Volume, Revenue or Profit results on paper were “Lag Measures” which we can’t change since they are an outcome of our effort. The boss was more interested in “Lead Measures” which are predictive in nature and by working on them we can change tomorrow’s outcome. Lydia, my wife, has been working on reducing her weight (Lag Measure) and I usually encourage her to watch what she eats and the amount of exercise she does (Lead Measures).
Whilst the appraisal session went well, I learnt a new lesson on how many times we are preoccupied with preparing for the session instead of appreciating the big picture of how the feedback in the session can become a Lead Measure which contributes to better performance.
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