By Chris Gandy
An area of leadership most of us seem to struggle with is objectively and constructively reviewing the performance of others. When annual performance review time comes around all of sudden our calendar becomes jammed. We put off and reschedule those difficult one on ones. And when it inevitably occurs we often dodge and weave and skirt around the major issues.
There are a number of reasons for this generally less than satisfactory situation not the least being, that as a group, not for profit leaders aren’t real good at asking tough questions.
Nell Edgington wrote an interesting article on this where she argues that to be a truly effective not for profit leader we need to regularly ask some pretty hard-hitting questions of ourselves and suggests these key questions for starters:
- Am I Leading or Managing?
A fundamental question! As Nell says “A manager shuffles resources around, waits to be told what to do, and focuses on checking things off her list. But a leader crafts a larger vision of her organisation, articulates what he non-profit is trying to accomplish and then marshals all the resources at her disposal ..toward that vision”.
- How Can I Address My Weaknesses?
Good leaders know the areas where they are not up to scratch and do something about it. They hire a coach or strategically recruit a person to fill the skill gap.
- Am I Selling Myself (and My Nonprofit) Short?
Do you whine and moan about this and that and tolerate second best or fight for what your Cause really needs? Effective leaders stand up for themselves and their organisation and demand what is needed to properly deliver on this mission.
- Which Other Leaders Should I Align With?
Am I a lone voice in the wilderness or effectively networked with other leaders and influencers impacting the field?
- Am I Still The Right Person for The Job?
A toughy but it has to be asked. Do you still have the skills and enthusiasm to take the organisation to where it needs to go? If not are you doing the right thing by your Cause and yourself by clinging on?
If you are not regularly asking yourself whether you are doing the best you can for your Cause it is difficult to ask others the same question. And the more often you look in the mirror and challenge yourself on these issues the easier your next round of performance reviews will become.
About Chris: Chris Gandy is the founder and a director of Cause and Effective – an organisation dedicated to assisting cause-based organisations maximise their social impact through permanent and contingent resourcing