“I’m not hear to tell you what you’re doing well, but to focus on where you need to improve.”
This was the opening sentence from my manager at Microsoft when we met for my first review meeting. The logic seems obvious, right? If you’re already good at something, why spend a lot of time talking about that. Instead, focus on where you’re weak and make a plan to get better.
This became my de facto standard for being reviewed and doing reviews. Not any longer. I recently read Peter Drucker’s The Effective Executive. He wrote that the review process should focus on a person’s strengths and how to better utilize those within the organization.
We just promoted one of our technicians to a store manager position. During the interview process he asked an excellent question: “What advice would you give a new store manager?” I had several answers but the first thing that came to mind was this:
Hire great people!
Yes, that sounds like the super obvious advice I said this blog would not be about. But every manager in our company – myself included – has messed this up the first (and sometimes second and third) time they’ve gone about hiring. As a manager you’re super busy and distracted with other tasks. That’s part of why you’re hiring. In that day-to-day bustle it’s easy to drop the ball on hiring and training.