Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke

Leadership Blog

Performance Evaluations - No Surprises

It is befuddling that organizations continue to engage in age-old annual review processes that offer little employee input, are sprinkled with surprise ratings, have barely a discussion about skill development, and contain no clear-cut future success path for the employee. 

While I could state many enhancements to current systems, I will share one area that stands out. No Surprises. Organizations should demand a “no surprises” commitment from the leaders conducting the annual evaluations. There are several items that if executed properly will lead to no surprises come review time:

Coaching. Daily and ongoing coaching is paramount to high level team member performance. For more on this topic please review some of my recent newsletters, newspaper columns, and blog entries.

Informal Quarterly Reviews. Dovetailing on coaching, leaders should consider informal, individual meetings with each of their direct reports on a quarterly basis. These reviews should serve as a compass to ensure that both parties are pointing in the same general direction.

Self-Assessment. Without input from team members the entire review process is a sham. Prior to each quarterly review, request that the team member mark up a copy of their annual performance plan. In this regard, realize that often team members rate their performance more critically than you do.

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2008-09-29 at 02:36 PM
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Priority Management

How do you like to manage priorities? I prefer a model called a Priority Communication Tool (PCT). A PCT seeks to enable leaders to communicate top organizational priorities in an effective way and on a regular basis. Often times, a company’s top priorities are the same from month-to-month. Other times, however, particularly during periods of rapid change, priorities can frequently shift. Even though top leaders believe they have effectively communicated new priorities, a PCT ensures that a clear message regarding the changes has been delivered. A PCT lists priorities and then ranks them according to status: Mission Critical, Important, On Hold, Low, Deleted. It should be noted that the number of items listed on the PCT may vary from 5 to 25, or more. What is important is that mission critical items are listed, and items that are no longer a top priority are deleted.

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2008-09-25 at 02:36 PM
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Sales Skills

Some sales skills, habits, and mind-sets that will help you thrive in a tough economy. That’s right, I said thrive.
1. Get organized.
2. Practice your craft.
3. Be authentic about your strengths.
4. Be realistic about what the market will give you right now.
5. Review best practices.
6. Be confident. 
7. Visualize success.
What are some others that you find particularly helpful?

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2008-09-22 at 02:35 PM
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Control What You Can Control

Gas prices are kinda high. Segments of the economy are hurting. Segments of the economy are flourishing. International tension seemingly abounds. Can you control any of these things? If you can, call me. Now.

Instead of getting caught up in the harried hype of the day, focus on what you can control. I am choosing to focus squarely on items that will impact productivity, efficiency, and morale. Where are you focusing your energies?

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2008-09-18 at 02:58 PM
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A 360 Degree View

Hey leaders, when was the last time you received a report that contained simultaneous feedback from your boss, your peers, your subordinates, and yourself? If the answer is: “Not in recent memory,” you could ripe for a 360-degree review. This type of report contains volumes of information that you may find helpful as you interact with others. What other types of feedback mechanisms do you find useful? 

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2008-09-15 at 03:04 PM
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