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.

Character: What Is the Impact, and How Do You Improve?

The October Authentic Leadership Dallas lunch meeting will focus your leadership journey. We will meet on October 28, 11:45 am to 1:00 pm, at the Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel. Please RSVP on our Meetup page; you can find directions and details there. We meet in the restaurant. The Meetup facilitator is Robert Hunt.

Leadership Character by Robert Hunt

Character, or the lack thereof, has a greater effect on your business than you imagine. Things that we often over-look, or consider a lack of professionalism or skills, are actually a weakness in character. A weakness that affects and influences your team, the work they produce and the culture of your company.

People are more likely to be let go from a job because of a lack of character than a lack of skill. Although character can be taught, it is much harder to do adopted than a procedure or skill. (Read “Can Character be Taught?”)

Character can be learned but most leaders do know understand the proper way to teach what it is and how it is modeled. It does no good for a person to tell another person to “have more character.” Character must be defined by the qualities that represent it. Once they are defined, we can then move to understanding the qualities by teaching how they are best displayed.

It is not uncommon to find people who WANT to be a person of character but they do not understand certain qualities that determine character. This is especially true of young adults who may have had poor teaching or poor role models. Some character qualities that can be taught on the job include:

Alertness, Boldness, Decisiveness, Deference, Dependability, Endurance, Enthusiasm, Flexibility, Gratefulness, Humility, Initiative, Loyalty, Orderliness, Patience, Persuasiveness, Responsibility, Self-Control, Thoroughness, Tolerance.

Character List

Imagine how character, if continually taught and recognized, could change people, teams, companies, communities, and the world. Our agenda will focus on the following questions:

  • What character flaws have you seen have the worst effect at your company?
  • Does your company work to address qualities of character they desire from their employees?
  • What character can you improve on today that will make you a better leader?

 Join us for this engaging leadership conversation!

About Robert Hunt

Robert J. HuntRobert Hunt is the Forum Leader and Business Partner for Renaissance Executive Forums Dallas. His role is to find the best members for CEO Peer Groups, then lead each meeting so members become Raving Fans. You can connect with me on LinkedIn,  Google+Twitter, and Facebook.

Roadblocks: Leading Through, Around, Over

Inevitably, you hit a roadblock. Organizations are filled with them. Human nature may create them, and a leadership nature is required to lead through, around, or over them. The conversation in our July meeting will be centered on experiences on how we successfully and unsuccessfully navigated organizational roadblocks. We learn a lot from both!

Join us! We continue our conversation on change, leadership, and how the two mix.

The July Authentic Leadership Dallas lunch meeting will focus on leadership lessons learned from leading when organizational roadblocks appear and persist. We will meet on July 22, 11:45 am to 1:00 pm, at the Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel. Please RSVP on our Meetup page; you can find directions and details there. We meet in the restaurant.

Background Reading

Overcome Roadblocks to Change. Key quote: “Adaptive problems, on the other hand, are difficult to identify. They generally affect many areas of an organization, and they have complex solutions. In fact, employees often must solve these problems themselves, and the solutions tend to require changes in perspectives, approaches, and roles. As a result, employees may resist solving adaptive problems; they may even refuse to acknowledge that a problem exists. A good example of adaptive problems: encouraging employees to question and even challenge confusing orders.”

6 Roadblocks to an Exceptional Workplace. Key quote: “You may have set your sights on becoming an exceptional workplace.  But it won’t happen on its own. Like running a marathon, you can’t just decide one day you want to run and go out the next day and do it.  You need to prepare and train.”

Top 10 Toxic Business Phrases – Organizational Roadblocks. What phrases create roadblocks in your organization – past or current? (See infographic below.)

Rid Yourself of Monkeys. Key quote: “Awareness and self-awareness are the prerequisites for all change. Without these qualities, the foundation for transformation isn’t solid, and managers end up repeatedly missing opportunities for implementation. But many managers have some level of self-awareness yet are still ineffective at making behavioral changes. Why? Because competing beliefs and values rival the desired change. For real change to occur, one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors must be in alignment.”


Our meeting agenda is:

  • Thirty second introduction: Name, organization, and answering a quick question. (10 minutes)
  • Question 1:  What is the biggest organizational roadblock you encountered? Did you lead through, around, or over it? What leadership lesson did you learn? (20 minutes)
  • Question 2:  How do you lead team members who build organizational roadblocks? Do you have any “monkey” principles of leading? (20 minutes)
  • Wrap-up: Summer break and next steps forward….

Looking forward to another engaging leadership conversation!

Top 10 toxic business phrases – organizational roadblocks

Top 10 toxic business phrases - organizational roadblocks

Ready to Lead in the Week Ahead? Insights to Energize.

Leadership is many things and we need to do as much as we can as often as we can to embrace and engage others. Some of the leadership thoughts from the past week highlight ways for leaders to stay a step ahead while continuing to work with others as progress is being made. Doing this is a leader’s challenge and a leader’s way!

Leading Through Mistakes by Jon Mertz on Lead Change. Key quote: “A certainty in life and work is we all will make mistakes at various points in time. When we do, the goals will be to limit the consequences, take corrective actions, and learn the most from them. Sounds simple, right? However, in both leadership and culture terms, we seem to complicate these goals.”

How Great Leaders Handle Difficult Conversations by Tal Shnall. Key quote: “Every difficult conversation is an opportunity to improve the circle of trust. Assumptions and doubts block the development of trust.”

Why Your Change Needs A Word Of Mouth Strategy by Patti Johnson. Key quote: “Create a word of mouth strategy in your communications plan. Remember the informal ways to help spread the word and build momentum. Think organic sharing, not sequential.”

Leading is Learning by Jon Mertz for People Results. Key quote: “Leaders often hear or state a simple principle: Never, ever give up. An equally important one is: Never, ever stop learning. Being a leader is a high calling, demanding us to open our minds and embrace others in what they offer.”

Lead well in the week ahead!

Also, please join us on May 9th for Leadercast! Details are highlighted here.

Lead Ahead: Week of February 17, 2014

Boot camps, leadership conversations, reinvention, mistakes and leadership, Millennial leaders, and pushing the product marketing envelope…. An interesting mix of leadership topics this past week. The lesson to pull forward is to be fully engaged in your community, your workplace, and in your development. Community and organizational cultures expect leaders to step up when changes unfold. Leaders step up to take action, to listen and interact, to change, and to learn and grow. How will you step up this week?

Revolutionary Impact Boot Camp by Mike Henry. Key quote: “If we are the type of person who elevates others and adds value, we begin to associate with others who elevate and add value. We find people we like who will eventually help us when we might be tempted to slack off.”

Why Leadership Conversations Matter? by Tal Shnall. Key quote: “Leadership conversation is also a process of self-discovery-where both leaders and followers will be touched. Something inspires them. Their relationship opens forward in a positive way.”

Matthew McConaughey and the Art of Reinventing Yourself by Patti Johnson. Key quote: “If you are due for a career reinvention, it is time to start learning, stretching and in McConaughey’s words, ‘shaking your floor’. But, rather than thinking about success and outcomes, it will take some faith, patience, and getting uncomfortable.”

How Good is Your Product? by Tim Gillette. Key quote: “One of the tricks of marketing a small business is to use a stunt to get the attention of your potential clients. You let this stunt out and people just come from miles around to watch. Think of the flash mob videos, imagine being in the place they happen, when they happen, and you’re not in on the gag. Well its a great fun idea that grabs attention.”

Missteps to Strengthen Culture and Leaders by Jon Mertz. Key quote: “Empathy is an essential leadership skill. When mistakes happen, empathy is a skill that enables us to listen for the reasons of why something did not happen in the desired way.”

Looking Forward With Millennial Leader David Burstein by Molly Page for Thin Difference. Key quote: “Millennial leaders will usher in bottom up empowerment and break down complex chains of command.”

Lead well in the week ahead!

Be sure to check out our special event on May 9th. We are a host site for Leadercast! Register soon to take advantage of the early rates.

Mistakes: Leadership and Culture

The February Authentic Leadership Dallas lunch meeting will be focused on mistakes and what they mean for developing your leadership skills and building a robust organizational culture. We will meet on February 18, 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. We meet in the restaurant.

Just as change is a constant and so are mistakes. We are human after all. Most people don’t intentionally make mistakes. What happens after a mistake is made makes all the difference. There are at least three dimensions to consider:

  • What does a leader do when they make a mistake?
  • What does a leader do when a team member makes a mistake?
  • How does an organizational culture view and handle mistakes that happen?

We will explore some of these questions during our leadership conversations.

To help prepare, highlighted are several articles on mistakes, leadership, and culture.

Mistakes and leadership:

10 Common Leadership and Management Mistakes. Key quote: “We all make mistakes, and there are some mistakes that leaders and managers make in particular. These include not giving good feedback, being too ‘hands-off,’ not delegating effectively, and misunderstanding your role. It’s true that making a mistake can be a learning opportunity. But, taking the time to learn how to recognize and avoid common mistakes can help you become productive and successful, and highly respected by your team.”

Human Leadership: Admitting Faults by Matt Monge. Key quote: “Leaders have to admit faults. Why is it so hard to do this? It could be a pride thing, sure; but it could also be that it’s simply hard, as a human being, to admit you’re wrong. No one that I know of especially enjoys doing that. I know it’s not at the top of my list of things to do. I’m sure most of you are the same.”

Mistakes and organizational culture:

Startup Company Culture by John Ousterhout. Key quote: “We also want a culture where everyone has an opportunity to contribute on any topic and in any way that they can. And finally, we want a constructive culture where criticism is viewed as a good thing and where we can work through problems and disconnects in a positive, non-personal fashion. The result will be an environment where we have lots of fun, learn and improve, and produce terrific results.”

Top 5 Reasons to Celebrate Mistakes at Work by Alexander Kjerulf. Key quote: “Peter Drucker provocatively suggested that businesses should find all the employees who never make mistakes and fire them, because employees who never make mistakes never do anything interesting. Admitting that mistakes happen and celebrating them when they do, makes mistakes less likely.”

Leading Conversation Agenda

Our meeting agenda is:

  • Forty-five second introduction: What do you want people to remember about you after the meeting? (10 minutes)
  • Question 1:  When a team member makes a mistake, how do you handle it? Share an example. When you have made a mistake, how did you handle it with others? Share your experiences. (20 minutes)
  • Question 2:  What role does organizational culture play when mistakes happen? What type of culture is the healthiest for purpose and profit? (20 minutes)
  • Wrap-up: Leadercast status, May 9th.

If you haven’t registered for Leadercast on May 9th, please consider joining us for this engaging event!

Leadership: Simon Sinek

Leadercast is bringing together many interesting and insightful leaders. Simon Sinek is one of the speakers in the Leadercast line-up on May 9th. Highlighted below is an interview between Chris Taylor of Actionable Books and Simon.

Leadership and trust with Simon Sinek from Actionable Books on Vimeo.

Enjoy learning from this engaging interview and explore Leadercast and join us in Plano, Texas, on May 9th.