Rubric of Performance

Posted by on Jan 18, 2014 in Business, Co2 Blog, Leadership | 0 comments


Educational Rubrics

Educational institutions have long struggled with performance evaluation of employees. They have succeeded, however, with developing some useful rubrics to evaluate the performance of students. Rubrics provide a vertical set of performance criteria against horizontal measures of effectiveness. They tend to work best when the evaluation is complex and somewhat subjective–when students may not be certain about what is expected of them, in other words. In studying the rubric, students can not only learn what is expected of them, but also assess their own progress at any stage.

Here’s an example of a high-school writing rubric:

Rubric of Performance

IParadigm, LLC Creative Commons Copy Right

Business Rubrics

Like educational rubrics, business rubrics tend to work best when evaluation is complex and subjective. Rubrics help demystify what is expected of employees in their current position as well as what is necessary for them to achieve a promotion and/or raise. Rubrics can also remind them of the brand promise as it relates to their work.

Rubrics works well in organizations with clearly defined tiers, but they can also help define tiers in organizations where the tiers are blurry. The rubric below provides a sense of how this might look for an organization with three tiers (junior, at level, senior):

Rubric of Performance

The scaffolding of a rubric–outlining the training and skills needed for advancement–allows everyone to see exactly what must be done to move from entry level all the way to senior positions. Employees appreciate the increased transparency rubrics provide, as well as the opportunities for self-assessment and self-correction. Employers benefit from standardizing the training and competencies of their employees, as well as the level of service and execution provided to clients. They also benefit from a step-system that keeps salaries and promotions in check; this is particularly valuable for start-ups that are experiencing high growth and may be vulnerable to ransom demands from employees.

Consider using rubrics to evaluate performance and manage expectations. They’ve worked in the educational sphere. Would they work in yours?


The post Rubric of Performance appeared first on Elements of Leadership.

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Look to Learn

Posted by on Jan 17, 2014 in Business, Change Your Thoughts, Leadership | 0 comments

We’ve all heard a variation of the saying ‘enjoy the journey’, right?

  • It’s not the destination that matters, but how you get there.
  • Enjoy the ride.
  • Enjoy the process
  • Life is a journey, not a destination, etc.

And those sayings really apply to not just life in general, but all the smaller pieces within our lives.  Our work, our businesses, our relationships, love lives and families, and our health.

cyt look to learnSo what does this really mean? And is it something we can understand simply by hearing it said once or twice or ten times? The thing that I’m starting to realize is that we can intellectually understand these sayings.  We all hear them and think ‘yes! That’s so true’.  And we even repeat them to our friends or post them on our Facebook walls.

But that’s about it, for the most part.  If you disagree with me, please let me know and share your experience!

Gaining Perspective

Sometimes, events happen in our lives that put a lot of these sayings and quotes into perspective.  When someone close passes away, the sayings ‘cherish every moment’ and ‘live every day like it’s your last’ come into focus.  And at that point, they make sense.  You experience them and you feel them, and at that moment in time, you are actually internalizing the meaning.

And these events happen at varying degrees.  It’s not always a traumatic or painful experience like death or bankruptcy. It happens when we fall in love or get married.  When we build up enough courage to leave a job we’re unhappy at or ask someone out.  It happens after years of dedication and sweat, working towards a larger goal or accomplishment.

And different people have different opinions on whether the negative or positive experiences teach us more or have a longer lasting effect.  But we’re all going to experience both, and what’s important is to acknowledge what is happening in those moments.

But do we have to rely on these big, momentous occasions to come along to learn and grow?  Isn’t that essentially the same as waiting around?

Seeking Out Perspective

We want to be proactive in our lives, in our journey of personal development and growth.  So here’s a challenge for everyone(And this came to mind after an experience last night.) Be proactive.

Look for opportunities to grow.  We certainly want to learn from our experiences – our mistakes and triumphs – but don’t stop there.  Don’t wait for life to teach you its lessons.  Be on the lookout for opportunities to apply what you’re learning now.

I was sparring with my kickboxing coach last night.  We had both taken a few weeks off from sparring while learning some new stuff and traveling for a conference.  So last night, we were both gassing out sooner then we normally would.  By the 5th round, I was breathing heavily.  My side was in pain and cramping up.  I was ready to say ‘enough’.

Two Things Happened At This Point

First, I realized this was a good thing.  With fitness, as with business, you can’t make any real progress with out going through a period of discomfort.  When training, almost all the progress comes AFTER you reach that point of discomfort, fatigue and exhaustion.  When you push yourself past that point, that’s where the real gains are.

We’re taught to make that feeling our friend. We’re told to get used to it and to ultimately embrace it.  Last night, I embraced it.  I felt the discomfort and I thought to myself ‘Good’…  And now I realize, I have to start looking forward to that feeling with my business.

Second, right after that, my coach says ‘Man, this is so much fun, isn’t it?’  I mean, I’m exhausted at this point, my coach is basically whooping my butt in the ring (he’s a former World Champ, so… there’s that), I’m cramping up and gasping for breath…  so I wasn’t exactly thinking about how much fun I was having at that moment.

Then he asked me if I could go one more round.  I had started to take my gear off, but I said ‘Yes’.  Put my gear back on and went one more round with him.

I realized that he didn’t become a kickboxing world champ by only focusing on results.  He loved it.  He enjoyed it. He enjoyed the process.  And trust me, he was just as tired as I was, if not more.

But he still enjoyed every minute of it.  And right in that moment, I took that lesson. I need to enjoy every moment of this process.  Not just every now and then, but the whole journey.

The Lesson Is Where You Look For It

It wasn’t just a quote that I read or heard someone say.  It was that lesson in action, in the middle of it all.  And instead of just reading it and nodding, I experienced and felt it in my body.  What a great way to end the day!

My point is that this was just another night, another day in the life.  These opportunities to grow and apply what we know are all around us.  Challenge yourself to look for these lessons.  Push yourself to grow on a daily basis.  If you read something that has you nodding, then actively look for an opportunity to apply it in real life.

As the saying goes:  “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand.”

Get out there and involve yourself!

To Your Success,


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The 5 Disciplines of Wiki Management

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in Business, Leadership, Leadership Now | 0 comments

The world we now live in has forced us to reexamine the way we lead people that gained preeminence during the industrial age and our often immature view of leadership—the “I’m in charge” mentality.

Authoritarian leadership implies that the smartest, most valuable people are at the top and so the leader commands and the followers do. Not only is that not true, it’s not sustainable in a world characterized by exponential change.


Rod Collins writes in Wiki Management, “Today’s managers may spend more time soliciting input from their workers, but at the end of the day, the basic social technology remains the same: The managers are still the bosses, the workers are still subordinates, and the latter are still expected to do as they are told.”

“Wiki” is a Hawaiian term that refers to taking quick action to produce immediate, effective results. Coupled with management, the term offers a way to describe a way of managing designed to help managers keep pace with accelerating change. Collaborative networks are smarter and faster than top-down hierarchies.

“Wiki Management assumes that the most effective organizations are highly connected, self-organized networks that are designed to leverage the power of collective intelligence and achieve extraordinary results.” Rather than leaders “acting as controllers who take charge and make the decisions, they assume the roles of facilitators of the discovery processes from which the best decisions emerge.”

In general, Wiki Management is about removing inflated ego from the practice of leadership and about breaking down the barriers that define most hierarchies.

Collins examines five key disciplines essential to thriving in this “flatter,” highly collaborative landscape:

  1. Understand what’s most important to customers. In a hyper-connected world, the best companies are customer-centric…and built around processes that make the task of delighting customers a higher priority than pleasing bosses.
  2. Aggregate and leverage collective intelligence. Today’s most intelligent organizational leaders no longer leverage individual intelligence by constructing functional bureaucracies. Instead, they cultivate collaborative communities with the capacity to quickly aggregate and leverage their collective intelligence. The best leaders today are increasingly facilitators, not bosses.
  3. Build shared understanding by bringing everyone together in open conversations. Companies that successfully manage at the pace of accelerating change create innovative processes to effectively integrate diverse points of view, co-create a powerful, shared understanding, and drive clarity of purpose across the entire organization. The centralized planning that’s pervasive in command-and-control organizations is designed to eliminate surprises and therefore blunts serendipity.
  4. Focus on the critical few performance drivers. Management is about creating the future. Smart leaders don’t focus on outcome measures but on driver measures that create the outcomes.
  5. Hold people accountable to their peers. The secret to mastering the unprecedented challenges of the wiki world is to make sure that no one in the organization has the authority to kill a good idea or keep a bad idea alive. Holding people accountable to peers rather than supervisors enables the collaboration necessary for speed and innovation.

Collins provides 50 concrete practices to help implement these disciplines and transition your thinking from controller to facilitator. Not everything here is new but what Wiki Management does extremely well, is to guide you through the often counterintuitive thinking that underlies collaborative leadership. It’s leadership that allows people to flourish and can help to detoxify the working environment.

Wiki Management is an important book. Rod Collins writes, “The most difficult adjustment for managers as they embrace the five disciplines of Wiki Management is coming to terms with their new role as the facilitators and catalysts of effective peer-to-peer collaboration. Organizations can become incredibly effective when the sovereignty of the supervisor is diminished.”


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10 Tips for Having 1 on 1 Meetings with Your Boss

Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in Business, Great Leadership By Dan, Leadership | 0 comments

I recently asked readers to submit their burning leadership development questions. Those that get picked for a post will receive a free copy of my eBook.

This question from Jennifer:

“Can you give us some tips and tricks for 1X1 meetings with your boss, including how to prepare for the meeting and ways to discuss your career and goals?”

Sure can!

I’ve written a post on the same topic for managers: How to Have an Effective 1 on 1. So, I’d suggest starting with reading that in order to get an understanding of what your boss is looking for.

However, let’s assume most bosses haven’t read that post. After you anonymously leave it on their desk, here are some “tips and tricks” written from the employee’s perspective, on how to have an effective one on one meeting with your boss:

1. Request regular one-on-ones with your boss. I’ve only had one boss where I had a hard time nailing him down for regular meetings, but most have readily agreed. You don’t have to sit back and wait. Everyone, at any level, from entry-level to executive, should be having regularly scheduled meetings with their bosses. The frequency, duration, agenda, and style may vary, but it’s a must!

2. Prepare an agenda. Many bosses don’t – they expect you to. They see it as your meeting. And if they are the type of boss that sees it their meeting, with their own agendas, then request to add your agenda items to theirs.
I like to send my boss a copy ahead of time so they have a little time to prepare, even if it’s the same day. But if not, at least bring two copies to the meeting with you. It helps put you in the driver’s seat, and from a practical standpoint, gives your boss something to take notes on, put in your file, and refer to for your next meeting.

3. Keep your boss appropriately informed. By “appropriately”, I mean a very succinct, high level summary of all of the key things you have been working on. This is your boss’s chance to ask questions, coach, and reinforce. This is also a chance to highlight your accomplishments. Hey, if you don’t, no one else will! You can, and should “toot your own horn” in a very humble, matter-of-fact way.

4. Cliché alert…… if you bring a problem, always bring your recommended solution. If you need a decision made, always bring your recommended decision. Yes, it’s getting to be a horrible cliché used by the Pointy Haired Boss in Dilbert, but alas, it’s true. Yes, there may be problems in which you really have no clue where to begin (maybe you’re new in the job), but they really should be the exception.

5. Own up to your mistakes. Read How to be Accountable and Hold Others Accountable. If you screwed up, make sure your boss hears about it first from you. No surprises, no finger pointing, and no excuses!

6. Don’t ask your boss to prioritize your work. If you’re swamped and feeling overwhelmed, it’s OK to let your boss know that (again, but not on a regular basis). However, unless you want to be micromanaged or seen as incapable of managing your own time and priorities, don’t show up with a list of projects and ask your boss to rank them.  Better to rank them yourself, and ask your boss to verify (“I just want to make sure we’re on the same page here as far as my priorities”).

7. Always come and leave with a positive attitude. Yes, some will say it’s your boss’s job to pump you up and keep you motivated – and if you read the post I wrote for bosses, I said it is too. But that doesn’t let you off the hook – bosses – and coworkers – would much rather work with competent and positive people. No one likes a Debbie Downer. As a manager, I’ve had employees that I’ve looked forward to meeting with and those that made me want to hide under my desk.

8. Make sure you include development (including career development) as a regular agenda item. Whether your company or boss requires one or not, ask your boss to help you create an individual development plan (IDP). It’s a chance to ask for feedback (before it’s too late), enlist his/her support in your development, and demonstrate that you are ambitious, self-aware, and have a desire to improve. You create the first draft, and then get your bosses input. Bring it with you to your meetings 3-4 times per year to show progress and keep it updated.

9. Occasionally ask for feedback (read18 Tips for Receiving Feedback first). Sure, again, that should be your boss’s job to give you feedback, but most don’t, and if they do, they find it terribly uncomfortable. However, if you ask them for it, you are opening the door and making it much easier for them. Hey, they may even turn around and ask you for feedback in return! When that starts to happen on a regular basis, you’ve got a really good trusting and supportive relationship.

10. Let your boss know what you need from them in order to be successful. Don’t assume they know. Not all managers are intuitive, sensitive, or can read your mind. And some experts suggest that women don’t ask as often as they should. If you let them know in a constructive way, most will do what they can to support you. After all, your success is their success, and then they get to go home feeling like they did their job as a manager.

If you do 1-7, then you are more likely to establish a foundation to discuss 8-10 and get your own needs met.

Follow all 10 tips and you might even help turn your average boss into a great one!
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Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in Business, Leadership, Sharon Drew Morgan | 0 comments

Listen to Sharon Drew Morgen being interviewed about creating leaders.
Making Change Work!

The territory is deceptively simple. There’s the leader, the led, and some sort of change involved: someone (the leader) finds some way to get followers (the led) to do something – a new activity, new behavior, new work ethic – they hadn’t been doing (the change). From start to finish it involves communication, trust, respect, hubris, collaboration, decision making, inspiration, and a solid knowledge of systems.


Leaders have myriads of skill sets to get people to discuss, collaborate, and see the value in a proposed change. Happily, most people will just buy-in and participate. But here is where the unconscious rears its ugly head: those whose beliefs end up being insulted, or whose job history has left scars, or whose personalities may not easily mesh with the new initiative, or or or…will resist. Unfortunately, regardless of our intent, we too often end up with less success than we’d like.

People would like to do what is asked of them. And leaders prefer that their intent, their hearts, and the strength of their initiatives will lead people to follow them anywhere. But we know that doesn’t always happen and the path is strewn with sabotage, resistance, and non compliance. We are asking people to change, after all.

The elephant in the room is the difficulty in getting buy-in: until or unless everyone who touches the solution knows how to change without major disruption (to their job, their sense of self, their beliefs) they will have some form of resistance to being led. And being a well-meaning guide with a terrific goal will not overcome this problem. Indeed, our current leadership models don’t reach the unconscious human issues that are so difficult to influence – the digee down deepee stuff that controls our choices and sanctions resistance. Hence, we aren’t getting the results we’d prefer.

Practically speaking, it’s a systems issue. If we look at our internal beliefs, family history, religious beliefs, and ego issues, for example, as a unique system that makes us who we are, it’s easy to understand why we resist when a requested change threatens our system. We learned about this – homeostasis – in sixth grade. The culprit is information.


As part of our skill set as leaders, we are taught to collect, offer, share information. We know

  • what needs to happen,
  • the actions that will get us there,
  • how to present the rational facts,
  • how to extract objections,
  • how to influence discussions.

But these don’t get to the core, unconscious issues of the followers: the information we offer sometimes, albeit unconsciously, unwittingly pushes against the systems causing the very resistance it is intended to avoid. Information is the last thing people need to buy-in to change; the trick is to begin by opening up the system to accept something new and only then, when there is buy-in from the core at the beliefs level, introduce the information.

I was writing an article on decision making and interviewed the CEO of a well-known stationary store that was just about to merge with a well-known courier. I asked him how he led his troops to a willingness to let go of their brand and be co-branded, work alongside of strangers, and make the myriad of changes necessary when different companies merge people and identities. He said it was easy. He and the COO traveled the country for six months with their multimillion dollar dog-and-pony show to the 30,000 employees, spouting the new message.

SDM: How did it work?
CEO: It was terrific. They loved it. Excited by it.
SDM: No one objected? Got annoyed? Scared?
CEO: Oh, sure. About 10% resisted. But that was to be expected.
SDM: What happened to them?
CEO: They became a retention issue.
SDM: You fired 3,000 people because they didn’t like your dog and pony show?
CEO: Yup. But it wasn’t a major problem. They were the ones that had been around for 18-20 years and had to go anyway.

What happened here is a good example of why information is an inadequate guide. While some might say that losing only 10% of their folks during a change of this magnitude is a great outcome, think about it: The only way he knew to get buy-in was to be a charismatic leader and offer a multi media presentation, trusting trust that the excitement and rational of it would rule the day, causing unconscious resistance from the folks he needed most. With all the choices in the world, this group – the very backbone of the company and folks whose buy-in would have strengthened the change – would not be the 10% he would have wished to lose.

It was possible to manage buy-in before attempting to garner excitement, or certainly once resistance reared its head. If they’d asked the resisters:

What is stopping you from being comfortable with the merger? How would you know that even with this change, your job will be secure and we’d be working with customers with the same level of integrity we are now? What would you need to know or believe differently to be able to accept the merger and be a part of the buy-in team? How would you like to be involved with the merger in a way that would enable you to have a say in that area of concern that most affects you? the 10% could have been part of the change rather than fired.

We never know how someone hears or interprets the information we offer, regardless of its import or rational or how charismatic we are, as we are not privy to their historic biases, assumptions, and listening filters. If we first help folks recognize the unconscious beliefs attached to any proposed change, and manage any fear, bias, or ego issues, the information can be accepted without resistance. It’s a great way for leaders to ensure buy-in and participation.

When information is used as the arbiter of change before the human system has made room for it within our internal system, the information itself will be misheard, misunderstood, or resisted.


Leaders can use a new skill set to help people recognize and manage their unconscious issues right at the beginning of the initiative and help those who might resist have control over their internal choices.

For years I wrote books on, and consulted in, the buyer’s decision making end of sales, teaching sellers a new facilitation tool to lead Buying Decision Teams through their unconscious, systemic issues to quickly enlist everyone as a decision maker and change agent. The same skill set can be applied to leadership.

Buying Facilitation® is a generic decision facilitation model that manages and sequences the unconscious beliefs that create and maintain our status quo and uncover and shift the unconscious issues that would be affected during change…the bits that resist…so change can occur without disruption. Using a new form of question (Facilitative Question) and a systemic choice model, it’s possible to teach people how to recognize their biases and resistances and discover alternative options that allow for change without harming the baseline identity.

By using Buying Facilitation® I salvaged a client project with a well-known global bank. I was called by the sales group that had won $50,000,000 proposal, and after two years (with the money already budgeted) the implementation hadn’t begun. Seems the President was creating frequent and unnecessary bottlenecks that caused my client’s on-line banking initiative to be held up, costing the bank $1,000,000,000 (that’s Billion) in lost revenue. None of us, including the President himself, recognized the instigating problem.

The bank President and I had a conference call. Working with Buying Facilitation® he uncovered unresolved (unconscious) issues with a past Board member and Union. Once unearthed, a consultant came in to address the problems; the implementation started two months later. Of course the President – certainly not a stupid man – would never have put the bank at risk if he had known how to make other choices. But it’s a great example – and a typical ‘sales’ or ‘implementation’ scenario gone awry for unknown reasons – of how the unconscious plays tricks in ways that go beyond the rational, and how it’s possible to quickly facilitate the issues that get in the way of either a change or a purchase. I suspect that the entire arc of the project might have been different if his values-driven decision criteria were elicited on the first call.

Leaders can enlist buy-in, encourage creativity and collaboration, and develop internal leaders by supporting change management from the birth of the initiative – and then gather/share information and lead change from the inside out with no resistance.

In other words, by addressing the change at the systemic level where change occurs, leaders can truly lead with integrity.

Sharon Drew Morgen is a NYTimes Business Bestselling author of 8 books, and the developer of Buying Facilitation®. She offers programs, consulting, and technical tools to help sellers, coaches, leaders, and consultants assist their buyers, followers and clients, unlock their unconscious and enable new decisions by matching closely led values. She is available to coach, train, consult, and develop with those seeking integrity in communication. She has worked with clients in technology, banking, insurance, health care, global consulting. Contact Sharon Drew at: sharondrew@newsalesparadigm.com. Read more at www.facilitatingbuyin.com and www.sharondrewmorgen.com.



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How to invest in yourself

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Business, Lead On Purpose, Leadership, Motivation | 0 comments

making-of Camil Tulcan via Compfight

I used Grammarly’s online plagiarism checker because leaders better get their letters right. This post is sponsored by Grammarly, but the content and opinions are my own.

Now that the hype of the New Year is behind us it’s a bit easier to look forward through a more realistic lens. Many resolution and goal-setting plans exist, and in that late December period, the number of offers can make your head spin. That’s why I like to get past the holidays so that I can think more clearly about my focus for the next year.  The following resources are making a noticeable difference for me this year and I want to recommend them for your consideration:

Yearly planning: Planning for an entire year can be daunting. However, if you want to want to improve your _____ life (work, home, social…) you need to plan. An impressive resource I found recently is The Best Year Ever, a 5-day series of videos and worksheets that will help you plan your year effectively. This comes from Michael Hyatt, one of my favorite leadership experts, who’s all about helping leaders leverage their influence.

Weekly planning: To write a long-term vision or even a yearly plan, and not work at it each week, is as futile as saying you’re going to see the world but never making travel plans. Bill Zipp, a leadership guru who helps executive leaders accelerate their business growth, has the perfect answer: The Hour That Changes Everything. In this post Bill explains how spending one hour a week—30 minutes planning the week, then a 5-minute daily check-in—will help you stay true to your highest priorities while responding to the challenges each new day, and week, bring.

Invest some time (and a bit of money) in yourself using the resources listed above; you will have a high return on your investment.

The Product Management Perspective: Product planning creates heartburn for some, and outright fear for other. Planning for the next year or beyond is intimidating. Though the resources above are not specific to product planning, the ideas will help. What will help even more? If you, the product manager, apply these principles to yourself, in your own yearly and weekly planning.


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