He loved his performance reviews! Seriously?

If I asked you what you enjoyed about working for your company, would you say performance appraisals? I could say lots of things about places I’ve worked. For example, “They all sucked at performance appraisals.”

I asked former Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft Bob Herbold what he enjoyed about his early days at Proctor & Gamble. He shocked me by saying, “Performance appraisals.” I’m sure he enjoyed the work, the people, and the organization as a whole. He was, after all, at P&G for 26 years before moving to Microsoft.

I almost fell over when Bob explained he received formal quarterly reviews. Yes! Four times a year. In addition, he enjoyed daily informal feedback.

I told Bob it sounded oppressive. He said, “It was refreshing.”

Bob’s responses flowed quickly and naturally when he explained it felt good to always know where he stood. Performance appraisals laid out a clear path to exceptional performance and personal development.

After our conversation I jotted down these three words.

  1. Clarity
  2. Confidence
  3. Passion

Clarity concerning the elements of exceptional performance enables people to work with confidence.

Confidence fuels passion. On the other hand, ambiguity creates uncertainty and uncertainty drains passion.

I believe clarity is the first and fundamental operational component for creating high performance environments.

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What do organizations and individuals need clarity about?

How can you give someone the gift of clarity today?

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Bob’s new book, “What’s Holding You Back,” includes material on how Microsoft does performance reviews.