Author: Greg Reynolds

Career management is not just a nicety—it’s a necessity

I never saw it coming.” That’s what many executives and  managers say after they’ve lost their job. “How did it happen?”—“Well one day they called me into the front office and told me I didn’t want to work there anymore.”  And now they’re just another statistic. One of the current 15.1 million people  in the United States who are unemployed.

When My Boss Let Me Fail

I will never forget my first  performance evaluation. My boss, Jack, reviewed my first year on the job, highlighting some of my early successes. He then proceeded with a litany of my shortcomings, failures and areas that needed improvement. Several of the examples he cited were over six months old. At the conclusion of the conversation, I said, “I really appreciate the feedback, but wouldn’t it have made more sense to have made me aware of these as you observed them so I could have fixed them by now?” I don’t remember Jack’s response, but I can tell you that he did not change his approach to performance management.

Years ago a successful executive coach and personal friend shared a story about a coaching assignment he turned down. His client, a major bank, asked him to work with one of their vice presidents, Toxic Tom. “He's one of our top performers,” they said. “We consider him to be crucial to our success going forward. He has one minor flaw we'd like you to work on with him. He has been known to slap subordinates when he is upset with them.”

My friend turned down the assignment and advised client to refer Tom for psychological counseling rather than coaching.