Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sailing Along to Better Performance Management

A couple of weeks ago, I led a training session on performance management at one of my client companies. Performance management is one of my favorite topics and the training must have made an impact because my client keeps reminding me of the analogy I used.

Here's how it goes. During the summer I love to sail. I use a small, old, basically indestructible, and incredibly fun sailboat. When I sail, I pick a point on the other shore and then sail towards it. While I'm sailing, lots of things happen. The wind changes, other boats pass me, and I hit some big waves. To reach my "goal" on the other shore requires continuous adjustments.

Now pretend that each of your employees is a sailboat. Do they know where they are supposed to be heading? Do you provide the coaching adjustments that they need to navigate the obstacles that come along or do you wait until the end of the year to point out that they sailed to the wrong shore?

Great leaders inspire their people to stay on track, work their way around the obstacles that come up and to storm the other shore. Timid leaders leave their flotillas adrift at sea. What kind of a captain are you?

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