How to Work on Genuine Humility Part 2

This is the final post in a series of 3. Check out post 1 (link), and post 2 (link) if you’d like.

“You have so much to be proud of!” That may be true.

But so is this:

You have a lot to be humble about.

If you’re new around here, we use the language of liberating leadership. Liberators fight for the highest possible good in the lives of those around them and they are genuinely for other people as opposed to being for themselves. To be for other people, we must embrace the journey of humility.

How do you do that?

Here are the top two lessons I’ve learned about growing in humility:

1. You will find the road to humility when you cross the bridge of gratitude.

If there is a secret, this is it: Gratitude.

Pride leads us to compare ourselves with others at the expense of denying our own unique contributions. Pride leads us to say life is not fair (which it is not), I deserve more! Gratitude makes space for humility. Gratitude banishes the “If I only did ____.” and the “Why am I not as far along as _____?” and replaces those lies with new perspectives: “What a privilege to get to do what I do” “You know on second thought, I do like my co-workers” “My boss is not as big of an $&*%* as I thought he was”.

Here’s a sticky thought I heard years ago; Gratitude is the attitude that sets the altitude for living. If you want to soar, start being thankful now. Gratitude will shift the direction of your heart upward instead of downward.

The flipside is that if you have complaining and bitterness in your heart, you will continue down the road of pride which leads to destruction. Pride destroys your reputation and will harm others. The bridge of gratitude is in front of you right now. Take the step.

2. Humility is developed in the shade.

You’ve got to start right where you are, where no one is watching. In your home office. In your cubicle. In your car (stop reading and driving!).

Here’s the thing: If you become thankful in the shade, you won’t ever care if you get into the spotlight. You’ll be so flooded with contentment that it won’t matter who notices. Then ironically, much like the impact of cross-training, you’ll find yourself with new opportunities. Your life has become attractive not repulsive like the impact of pride. When others are drawn to you, you’ll be surprised. You’ll wonder…seriously, me?

Yes, it is you. Don’t ever lose that wonder.

10+ Attributes of Transformers

Hard to believe, but Tis the Season…I am finding my mailbox filling with ads pushing retail therapy just in time for the fast approaching Holidays. The kid in me is having a hard time coming to grip the reality that my grown children’s Christmas wish list has vaporized rendering my visits to the local toy store as a distant memory. I no longer own this zone, but still hold fond memories as I paged through the local inserts highlighting the new designs by the likes of Mattel, Disney, Hasbro, and LEGO.

As I reminisced and pored over the “Hot Toys for 2014,” I found most of to be strangely unfamiliar. What’s a Paw Patrol Lookout or a LeapFrog Leap Video Gaming System? The list was extensive and personally, a bit uninspiring as I reflect upon the toys of my age. I did spy, however, with my very little eyes a vestige of my kids’ past still in circulation. Yes! Transformers… More than meet the eye… Transformers (sing it with me)…Robots in disguise.

What has sparked my interest in the Transformer Collection is that each is equipped with a unique technical specification (tech specs) printed on the back of the box. These ratings represent a numerical value of attributes ranked by a score of one to ten. Interestingly and over time, these values have become increasingly leveled toward flawlessness. Recently, Hasbro even invented a “10+” rating in an attempt to keep increasing the power levels. In the same way, they even created a few characters with the designation “Unknown” and “Infinity” ratings.

10+ Specs for Transformational Leaders

Much of modern day leadership thinking is based around the theory of Transformational Leadership, of which MacGregor Burns first introduced in his book called, ‘Leadership’ (1978). Burns was one of the first to identify that true leadership not only creates change and achieves high performance, but is fundamental in lifting the potential and hope of people as well.

Think back to a time when you were truly inspired by someone of influence at work. Perhaps you would describe this person as one who created opportunity and a culture of empowerment. You probably felt that this leader brought just the right blend of support and challenge with a commitment to ensuring your enduring success.

Transformational Leaders are characterized by creating the conditions and healthy cultures quite attractive to others. Transformational Leadership is the remarkable calibration of team support and organizational challenge. When this dynamic is tuned properly, liberating cultures abound.

The Trifecta of Transformation

Transformational Leadership is an integrated dimension of influence with focus on three primary factors:

  1. Increasing Organizational Awareness – Mission, Vision, Values and Strategies
  2. Collective Commitments to Team and Shared Goals
  3. Action Planning for Results

Transformational Leaders seek to lead and drive high performance through positive modeling, motivation, and values honoring deeply rooted relationships. Transformational Leaders also embrace the importance of knowing the unique personalities, strengths, and talents of self and the teams they lead. Transformers in the leadership space are aptly skilled in the art of coaching and skills of apprenticeship. Thus, great leaders build the capacity of other leaders through liberating ethos of opportunity and empowerment.

Attributes of Transformers

What are the behavioral characteristics of those serving as Transformational Leaders? Those leading as Transformers consistently deploy the following attributes:

  • Idealized Influence –The leader serves as a role model that followers seek to emulate. Through relational apprenticeship, the Transformational Leader wins trust and respect from their team. These leaders also place the needs of others a car length ahead of their own.
  • Intellectual Stimulation – The leader facilitates learning and capacity building for each member of his/her team deploying the apprenticeship method of “I do, you watch,” “I do, you help,” “You do, I help,” and ultimately, “you do, I watch.” This learning is a gradual release sequencing of information transfer, imitation, and innovation whereby the leader encourages followers to be imaginative and creative problem solvers.
  • Inspirational Motivation – The leader inspires a culture calibrating both support and challenge. Transformational leaders guide followers by providing them with a sense of personal value to the organization while also pulling a taut tether of challenge to ensure continuous individual growth and development.
  • Individualized Consideration – The role of the leader is to act as a coach and confidant to fight for the highest good of those they serve. Transformational Leaders are driven to encourage, equip, and empower the success of others while uniquely rewarding their followers for skill, creativity, innovation, and contribution to high performance.

Questions to Advance

  1. How inspired are you in your current role of leadership? How is this excitement shared genuinely across your organization?
  2. On a scale of 1-10, how well are you relationally connected to those you serve?
  3. What are your goals for increasing your capacity of Emotional Intelligence? What intentions do you have to elevate this capacity for others within your organization?
  4. How clear is your organizational vision and purpose? In what ways have you engaged your team in the design and development of the organization’s direction?

The Nature of Leadership – Personal Wiring

[stag_intro]Try this. Pick up a writing utensil with your non-dominant hand. Now, write your signature. How did that feel? What words come to mind? Awkward. Not natural. Tricky?[/stag_intro]

What if every time you picked up a pen, toothbrush, fork etc., you had to pause to decide which hand to use? If this were the case, our lives would be rendered quite inefficient wouldn’t they? Fortunately, each of us has preferred access to handedness and unconsciously goes about our daily tasks without having to manually clutch and shift our cognitive controls in deciding which hand to employ.

While we all have a predisposition for either right or left hand (yes, even those with ambidexterity have a heavier hand) this native preference scarcely limits access to our other hand. We use both frequently and would be greatly limited by not having access to each hand in work, play, and routine. Arguably, we are innately hard wired for hand preference. The dynamics of nature, nurture, and robust debate on this topic is well studied. Less contested in the field of brain science is the fact that our individual personality type is remarkably predictable our unique and inborn wiring.

As a lifelong educator with a fascination of the human brain and its impact on learning and leadership dynamics, I am quite intrigued by the theory of psychological type and the MBTI (Myers Briggs) Personality Type Indicator. This theory was introduced in the 1920s by Carl Jung with the actual MBTI tool development in the 1940s by Isabel Myers and Katherine Briggs. This research and tool impacts millions of people across the planet choosing the Indicator each year.

Similar to hand dominance, the identification and description of the 16 distinctive personality types occurs across natural preferences. These types fall within the respective dichotomies:

  • Extraversion/Introversion-Our Primary Source Of Energy (E/I)
  • Sensing/Intuition-How We Process Information (S/N)
  • Thinking/Feeling- Our Primary Filter For Decision Making (T/F)
  • Judging/Perceiving- How We Live and Plan Our Lives (J/P)

One of the most effective and applicable traits for a leader is to “Know Yourself to Lead Yourself.” As a coach working with individuals in the process of awakening natural leadership preferences, I frequently have leaders tell me “I do both” in terms of individual preference types (i.e. thinking and feeling). This is fundamentally true and in relationship to the aforementioned topic of handedness, is a reality for every one of us. We DO have access to both. In fact, in many cases, a leader may live and/or work in an environment where an opposing personality preference is used so much that it almost feels like the actual preference. The gift of neuroplasticity (disciplined practice of learning anew) allows the brain to change in response to the environment. The key is to recognize that each of us has a most natural way of gaining energy, processing information, making decisions, and planning our lives. The clear realization of these tendencies for the individual leader and across leadership teams creates a multiplicative effect upon organizational culture and performance.

“He who knows others is wise, he who knows himself is enlightened.” – Lao Tzu

The GiANT Leader Best Fit is remarkably geared to identify one’s baseline partialities (not skills or traits) to best leverage natural strengths while becoming fully aware of areas that may be challenging, yet reachable. When these non-natural areas advance in self -awareness and access is when leaders activate maturity and become worth following.

  1. Do you know your Leadership Best Fit?
  2. How has this discovery impacted your ability to “Know Yourself to Lead Yourself? “
  3. Does your team know their primary Leadership Voice?
  4. How has this discovery impacted “Knowing Your Team to Lead Your Team?”

Interested in uncovering your personal Leadership Best Fit for yourself and your team? Email us!

How to Work on Genuine Humility Part 1

Like the effects of an anesthetic, we are often unaware of our pride.  The presence of pride repels while the presence of humility attracts.  This is why leaders worth following must make reflective space to sort through pride and humility.

If you’re not intentionally thinking about or working on humility, we want to help to do that.  Mary Alice Higbie, the owner of the incredible St. James Tearoom in Albuquerque sent me her thoughts on humility.

Mary Alice is a part of our Executive Core process and is a leader worth following.  She exhibits tremendous humility and so I wasn’t surprised when I received her deep questions in response to my previous blog on humility on how she evaluates the presence of pride in her own life.  Before we provide ways to work on genuine humility, let’s go a bit deeper and think through these questions from Mary Alice.

She writes:

How can I know if I am a humble person or arrogant one?  How can I know the truth about myself?  How do I evaluate?

Here are some practical, rubber meets the road ways that help me discern:

When things go wrong or don’t follow my plan, do I want to blame others?  Do I take it as a personal affront?

Do I get my feelings hurt often?

Do I ever call anyone “stupid” or “fool” or “idiot”?

Do I have contempt for another person, party, or group?

Do I tend to dominate?  In a conversation or a meeting, am I content to listen, ask sparing questions to lead others, or must I speak all my own illuminated thoughts?

Is it important to me that others understand me, look up to me, appreciate me, or even notice me?  (Ouch, you nailed me on this one Mary Alice!)

Am I able to keep some things private, or must I blab everything, either to show how much I am in the know or create a black mark, a smear, on another (thus elevating myself?)

Do I think everything depends on me?

Do I think everything depends on everyone else, and the outcome I see has nothing to do with my own responsibility?

Must I work non-stop to be in control?  Am I able to rest and allow others to take precedence, to get things done, to have their way?  Must I control outcomes as well as people?

If you would be so bold, comment below on which of these questions strikes a nerve with you.

The Linchpin of Leadership– Self-Awareness.

“I’m working on it!” For anyone with teenagers, most likely you have been on the receiving end of this statement a time or two. For me, this is a natural household response anytime I inquire about messy rooms or unfinished homework. As leaders committed to continuous self-improvement, this refrain also rings true. We are all working on it right?

I was encouraged while recently reading a study examining the developmental ability of Emotional Intelligence (EI) as one grows older. The “ah ha” of the report points to the fact that our capacity for Emotional Intelligence consistently increases with age. Although this ability appears to level off in our 40’s, it is holds imperative insight for organizational leaders everywhere.

Leaders recognize that individual emotional and social intelligence competencies are more than niceties for teams and talent. This is a core skill underpinning highly effective performance of leaders worth following.

How does Emotional Intelligence Drive Performance?

The latest findings show that the capabilities generally used to define baseline employability are indeed common strengths and include:

  • Achievement Orientation
  • Teamwork
  • Organizational Awareness

The Emotional Intelligence skills lagging in this comparative study included:

  • Emotional Self-Awareness
  • Influence
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Conflict Management
  • Inspirational Leadership

So What? Why Does This Matter?

The Sobering News…One of the more profound learning points from this report comes in the distribution of related EI skills. Revealed was the fact that a leader who rarely demonstrated Emotional Self-Awareness is NOT likely to show strength in any of the other complementary Emotional Intelligence skills.

The Better News! A leader who demonstrates Emotional Self-Awareness consistently is likely to strongly display more than nine related Emotional Intelligence competencies.

This information is a bellwether trend lending significance to the notion that Self-Awareness lies at the heart of Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence lies within the core of leaders worth following.

The Jarring Impact…Without healthy Self Awareness, a leader’s chance of demonstrating strength in competencies of self-management, social awareness, and relationship management is low. On the contrary, with a solid understanding of “Knowing Yourself to Lead Yourself,” the leader is likely to shine successfully and progress healthy leadership culture caught across the organization.

A leader who rarely demonstrated Emotional Self-Awareness is not likely to show strength in any of the other complementary Emotional Intelligence skills

Impact Activated

Great leaders encourage, equip, and empower the success in others. These are the leaders who relentlessly focus and accelerate the growth of positive and robust organizational culture. This attractive culture opens massive doors of opportunity and empowerment felt across the entire organization.

Five Attitudes – Liberating Self-Awareness

  1. Long Life Learning – Make your personal learning a priority for life.
  1. Contextualize Your Leadership – Life and leadership are not linear in nature. Leadership is rarely a technicality to master, rather a “craft in context” to the specific needs of those being served.
  1. Play Nice – Most of the human race won’t slow down to support those they dislike. Leaders worth following are committed to the wellbeing of their teams and the relational health across the organization. Domineering behaviors may feed ego, but will starve one’s influence over time.
  1. Let it Go – Leaders worth following have power and know how to wield it appropriately. Power “for me” creates a culture of overpowering, fear, and manipulation. Likewise self-centered power manifests a culture of disempowerment and passive aggression. Leaders who are committed to “power for others” create liberating cultures of empowerment, respect, and opportunity.
  1. Unlearn – Shedding the layers of poorly observed behavior, emotional dysfunction, and intellectual baggage is a celebrated moment for leaders. Suspending the natural tendencies of holding on to unhealthy and/or questionable beliefs is difficult, yet essential for leadership growth. Bold and courageous are the leaders who are willing to peek from behind their walls of self-preservation in asking others to honestly reveal the goods and the gaps in answering the question, “What is it like to be on the other side of me?”

Becoming Self-Aware is a real time process of syncing gradual release AND human capacity building with humility as the spark igniting the potential of high leadership performance and influence.

I’m working on it and applaud your success journey as well!

Humility or Pseudo-Humility?

My wife and I were exchanging words of appreciation for each other on our 18th anniversary a few weeks ago. I was honored and blown away when she said that the thing she appreciated most about me was my humility. Walking in integrity, humility, and generosity are key character values for my life and to hear that in some way humility has been actualized in my heart was really meaningful.

Liberating leaders operate from a base of humility.

Humility is a tough concept. Did I just nullify my humility because I told you that story? Can one actually even say “my humility”? Am I actually humble or is it better to say I am growing in humility? (Hint: I prefer the latter).

I’ve detected a difference between humility and pseudo-humility. Since humility is an absolute essential for liberating leaders, it is important to detect genuine humility. See if this list helps and feel free to add more contrasts in the comment section;


  • I receive compliments
  • I say “thank you”
  • I focus on expanding capacity in others
  • I am generous with coaching and compliments
  • I know the specific character & competency areas of my team because I am perceptive of where they are at.
  • I am secure enough to apologize
  • I celebrate that some of my advancements have come through the demonstration of trust and relevance.
  • I listen and ask many questions.
  • I pursue feedback about my affect on others


  • I deflect compliments
  • I say “Oh, well, it wasn’t me”
  • I focus on how others can help me win
  • I give occasional compliments when others are discouraged
  • I don’t really know where my team needs to grow because I am more focused on my own development
  • I am insecure enough to not admit when I have made a mistake
  • I am frustrated. I self-promote and wonder why I am not getting ahead
  • I talk to display my knowledge.
  • I am easily offended when others point out challenging areas in my life.

In my next post I’ll talk about ways to cultivate genuine humility.

Leadership Legacy & An Event You Can’t Miss

It’s 2014.

We live in a culture in love with the idea of self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and “putting people above profit.”

Yet, somehow, our collective culture of leadership still leaves much to be desired.

Sure, everyone talks about leadership because they know it’s important, but how many of us actually know how to grow our leadership capacity in tangible, actionable ways?

From my experience, the answer would be not many.

Due to this lack of concrete skill in what is so often and reverently called “the soft skills,” the leadership space has become accordingly flooded with lofty language, pie-in-the-sky goals, and word-smithing gurus. People today have all the knowledge in the world about what “leadership” is or isn’t, and they’ve seen all the case studies and statistics about the result of good leadership.

But what the majority of us don’t know how to do is intentionally, concretely improve our own personal leadership capacity. We are equally as ill-equipped to consciously and systematically raise up other great leaders around us.

If we were, we wouldn’t see statistics about 78% of people leaving their jobs, not because of their work, but because of their bosses. Nor would we see so many examples of company cultures like Enron and Worldcom running amok with the kind of toxic leadership that has the power to bring an entire state and industry to it’s knees.

The trouble is, because that ethereal thing we call “leadership” seems so intangible and immeasurable, we find it difficult to put solid actions and plans behind it’s development. Finding numbers and strategies easier to deal with, we often leave the leadership problem to sort itself out on it’s own, hoping each person will “do their part.” So it’s not that we plan for our companies, or indeed even ourselves, to exhibit poor leadership cultures, it’s just that we don’t plan not to.

Because it’s so much easier to plan and measure for strategic success, we cling to our trite collection of core values and armor ourselves with confidence in our goodness, hoping that strategy and good intentions will win the battle for us.

But that won’t cut it in the long term and each of us eventually comes to this realization at some point or another. I think it’s also safe to say that far too many of us learn this fact the hard way from first hand experience.

The problem then is figuring out what to do about it.

That’s where the Liberating Leader Tour comes in.


The Liberating Leader Tour is a day of leadership focused on helping you BECOME a leader that people want to follow. GiANT Worldwide Co-Founders, Jeremie Kubicek & Steve Cockram, will be sharing a host of practical insights they have gained over the past 12+ years of working with leaders from all over the world. (You can sign up by visiting

GiANT Worldwide founders Jeremie Kubicek & Steve Cockram

GiANT Worldwide founders Jeremie Kubicek & Steve Cockram


GiANT Tour - IMAGEIn short, it’s for you. It’s for your teams, your friends, and anyone you know who is hungry for growth as a person, as a leader, as a spouse, and as a person in any other area of their lives. We’ve shared our practical tools & content with a multitude of people from a wide variety of backgrounds. This includes everyone from elected officials in the British Foreign office to small startups in Atlanta and non-profit organizations all over the globe. What we’ve discovered is that organizations are made of people, so when you focus on developing people at their core, healthy growth will disemminate throughout the rest of the organization.


When you look back at your leadership legacy, what kind of followers would you like to see?

Do you want the people you lead to be there because they have to follow you, or because they want to follow you?

I think most of us would answer the same way.

And that’s what this tour is about. We’re going around the country starting conversations about the key to building willing, engaged, empowered followers rather than accumulating punch-card employees.

[stag_button url=”” style=”blue” size=”large” type=”stroke” target=”_self” icon=”arrow-circle-right” icon_order=”before”]Learn more about the Liberating Leader Tour[/stag_button]

So what’s the key?

The key is to begin with yourself – to first Become a Leader Worth Following.

Once you become a leader worth following, not only will people want to follow you without the need for pulling rank, you’ll also have a template for building other leaders worth following. When this happens, you’ll find yourself running a company everyone wants to work for.

Join us this October for a day of leadership and liberation.

After all, you can’t give what you don’t possess. Focus on liberating your own leadership capacity first, then you’ll have the tools to make your organization a place everyone wants to work.

“Before you can ever hope to lead others, you must first learn to lead yourself.”

The Mindset of Abundance Based Leadership

[stag_intro]Ice cream is the universal love language of my family. After a long week of extensive study and tough practices, my kids and I find ourselves engaging our Pavlonian response systems and indulging in a little “duce scoop.” I know Dr. Oz probably wags his finger at celebratory eating, but this is how we roll![/stag_intro]

Last weekend, we were on the hunt for an old-fashioned ice cream parlor that was recommended by a good friend. We found the little shop tucked behind the busy downtown streets of a local historic hangout quite “churning” with a long wait of families responding to a similar allure of the senses.

With great anticipation, we pulled up to the counter and each placed our order for a small cup (we were warned ahead of time that the proportions were quite “healthy”). To our “utter” surprise we were offered a small cup heaving with ridiculously proportioned ice cream delivered with a kind of smirk that signaled “good luck!”

Uplifted and wonderfully messy, we were absolutely WOWED by this crazy experience of abundance.

Abundance Based Leadership

Abundance Based Leadership is the intentional creation of similar experiences that are uncommon and stirring to the human spirit. Leaders who generously approach life, leadership, and service hold a liberally framed mental model that positively influences both the organization’s health and the well-being of those they work along-side.

A person’s mental model directly influences one’s behavior. Abundance Based Leadership is recognized via behaviors that call to deep levels of competence, character, and commitment towards the health of others and the organization.

Attractive Behaviors – Abundance Based Leadership

  1. Thinks Long-Term And Big Picture
  2. Sustains Zeal And Focuses Toward Making Positive Relational Connections
  3. Respects And Builds Upon The Past – But Is Not Constrained By It
  4. Seeks And Receives Feedback As A Learner
  5. Proactively Shares Information And Power Across The Organization

Likewise, conflicting behaviors can be spotted literally and intuitively by leaders with negative and narrow focused agendas.

Unattractive Behaviors –Scarcity Based Leadership

  1. Protects Sub-Standard Behavior and Performance
  2. Fights For The Highest Good In The Life Of Self, Not Others
  3. Offends Easily
  4. Hides Behind Walls of Self-Preservation

Bottom Line – Selfless Indulgence

Abundance Based Leaders accelerate the spread of healthy culture and lead in organizations others WANT to work for. Liberated leaders build robust and thriving organizations where conflict is naturally present, but managed from a value of support and challenge. Abundance Based Leaders understand how to effectively message across the organization and are skilled artisans of teamwork and collaboration.

Take Home

  1. How is Abundance Based Leadership observed in your organization
  2. What are the behaviors evident of those bringing WOW to your organizational culture?
  3. How are you recognizing and celebrating the Abundant Based Leaders across your organization?

Leveraging Amusement for Performance

I am a Weather Channel Junkie. I think Jim Cantore has the best job in the world. I was recently scanning an article tracking the effects of Hurricane Odile where the iconic meteorologist was asked if he was going to have fun while on location for this particular story. Mr. Cantore’s bold retort sobered the poor reporter when he jolted back with, “they don’t pay me to have fun.”

walkway of airport

Can you almost hear The Good, Bad and Ugly whistle in the background…

How about you? Do they pay you to have fun at work? Would your team say that they are allowed to have fun at work? Do wrinkled faces, and frumpy attitudes parade as stress signals around in your workspaces?

The Impact of Happy

There is increasing evidence that well-balanced, happy people are the most productive employees. Dr. David Abramis, Research Professor at Cal State University – Long Beach, has studied fun at work for years. His discoveries are numerous with evidence far from laughable.

  • Laughter and joy on the job increases job performance
  • People who have fun in the office are more creative and make better decisions
  • Fun loving companies create healthier cultures
  • Enjoyable workplaces promote fewer absentee, late and sick days than those less-spirited environments.

Many organizations such as Southwest Airlines, Google, Twitter, and Zappos have been on the “fun” wagon for years where workplace amusement is the norm. Of course, no job can be all fun (except Cantore’s)… Every organization has its “get to do’s” and the unfortunate “got to to’s.”

“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun” – Randy Pausch

Above and beyond pay and perks, employees can derive a great deal of satisfaction and higher levels of company morale from constructive influence promoting empowerment and opportunity. Leaders found within these liberating cultures exude enthusiasm into the lives of those they serve and intentionally invest in apprenticing high competence and values based culture across each sector of the organization.

Dale Carnegie said, “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”

Perhaps promoting a little levity at work tomorrow might produce a beautiful long-range forecast ahead!

Take Home

  1. On a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (off the charts), how would your team describe the climate of “fun” within your organization?
  2. What interpersonal obstacles are in play that might limit others experiencing joy and happiness across your organization?
  3. What one thing could you intentionally create this week to leverage joy across your work place?

Moving Beyond Performance Evaluations

Love them or hate them, performance evaluations are the norm at the vast majority of companies.

walkway of airport

Their helpfulness depends upon the quality of the person assessing more than the form that gets filled out. If you don’t know how to identify areas of character and competence that need to be addressed to serve the person you are evaluating, then frankly the evaluation will be a check the box and perhaps painful process.

I’ve chosen to move beyond a classic performance evaluation and have set the bar of evaluation with this metric; Fighting for the highest possible good in ____________ (name of the employee). I call it a highest possible good session! I don’t wait for the annual mandatory performance evaluation to come in order to give encouraging and challenging feedback. In fact, here are the three steps I take when giving input to those around me;

(Prerequisite: You are genuinely for the person and have demonstrated that commitment over a period of time. If you are captive to envy and pride and out for yourself, stop reading as this won’t work.)

  1. I write the phrase “Highest Possible Good Session” at the top of a piece of paper. This frames my thinking about exactly what I’m about to do. For me, it is a sacred task as we are dealing with human beings with great value and worth. I communicate to the person that I am committed to serving them as best as I possibly can.
  2. I write the phrase “High Challenge” and start there: Here’s the deal, the typical evaluation conversation starts with the things they are doing well SO THAT you can slam them with what you really want to say. Wrong answer in my view, I prefer to bring challenge first. This takes away any hint of manipulation in the kind things I want to say, and also helps reframe challenge as a good thing. I write down the top 3-4 areas of character or competency I have identified that need some attention and I go there straightway in a conversational fashion.
  3. I write the phrase “High Support” and identify the unique contributions of the person. Having laid the foundation of challenge, this now feels like party time! Celebrate them in a way that they will value the most.

The effective delivery of support and challenge, when done from a healthy perspective will yield transformation. How does this challenge you? Any helps you have in giving or receiving employee feedback like this?