I was reading the recent NYTimes interview with Yahoo’s CEO and found her humility and insight quite inspiring:

Q. How would you say your leadership style has changed over time?

A. I’m calmer. I think that just comes with confidence. I would hate to describe the C.E.O. I was in ’92. I think I was pretty pathetic, actually.

And her view of annual reviews is worth pondering:

Q. And how do you give feedback?

A. I have the puppy theory. When the puppy pees on the carpet, you say something right then because you don’t say six months later, “Remember that day, January 12th, when you peed on the carpet?” That doesn’t make any sense. “This is what’s on my mind. This is quick feedback.” And then I’m on to the next thing.

If I had my way I wouldn’t do annual reviews, if I felt that everybody would be more honest about positive and negative feedback along the way. I think the annual review process is so antiquated. I almost would rather ask each employee to tell us if they’ve had a meaningful conversation with their manager this quarter. Yes or no. And if they say no, they ought to have one. I don’t even need to know what it is. But if you viewed it as meaningful, then that’s all that counts.

Couldn’t agree more. If a manager is not having those types of reviews monthly, they are not doing their job. For me, I have always gauged my effectiveness in this role based on the length of the annual review. If it is too the point with no surprises for the employee, then I am doing my job because we have communicated regularly. If not … an improvement item for my review.

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