founder of naked leader

The Cutting Room Floor

Naked Leader Week – 61 – Monday 28 June 2004

The Cutting Room Floor

Many of the stories I received for The Naked Leader Experience could not be included due to lack of space, and I will be sending all of those submitted out under the “Leadership from a different perspective – yours” every other week.

If yours didn’t make it in, I am sorry. If its any consolation, neither did a lot of stuff I wrote!

And here’s a whole chapter that never made it!

What’s Right with this Picture?

A 360 degree appraisal is where you and others are assessed by your boss, your team, your customers, your suppliers and yourself.

You get the picture – the complete picture

And as long as they don’t become time-consuming, form-filling exercises, they are very powerful. So, keep them brief, measure people’s strengths (not competencies) and do not link to salary increases, (let people decide their own salary increases) and 360 degree appraisals work, brilliantly.

However, while they work very well inside organisations, they don’t work so well in other areas of our lives.

“Well, don’t use them” I hear you shouting at me through these pages

“What is he on?” I hear you say, “When do I ever fill in a 360 degree appraisal form about myself, let alone other people?”

All the time

Every day

Right now, we do it about each other

We judge our success not by our own criteria, but by how we are doing compared with others

Actually, that is what I used to believe

I now believe we judge our success not by how we are doing compared with others, but how we think we are doing, compared to others

We do it in our personal lives

In our teams compared to other teams inside the same organisation

And as organisations, “benchmarking” against other companies

It is crazy, and destructive, and so very human

Because we all want to be valued, especially by our peers

How can we do things differently?

On a personal level success is your to define, and yours alone. This may indeed mean a certain sum of money, a career or a bigger home.

Or it could be a relationship, putting up our son’s train set or simply cooking a meal without third party help

Success, true success, comes from within

And if you believe that worrying what other people think of you, will change the way they think about you, then you are living on a different planet in an entirely different solar-system.

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

So, have a few trusted people, loved ones, around you, and also having an unbreakable force-field of glass around you, through which no opinion, no criticism, or thought from another person about your life can ever get through, unless invited to by you.

Yes, invite in the thoughts from those you know and respect, leave the snipers outside

And the ultimate irony of popularity is this – it is those that listen and respect others opinion, while only taking on board what they choose, that are most liked and respected.

Also, personally, if we want to change, we are encouraged to visit a counsellor, or be hypnotised, or to visit an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) practitioner. Fines, however so many of these make the mistake of focusing on the methods, and not the results.

The results are everything, not the process.

And once again, so many people qualified in one thing or another will berate another therapy for not being so effective.

And then we have internal turf wars caused inside our organisations.

The main reason for this is because we feel there is not enough success to go around.

Because we define success as getting to the top

And then we die

And it says on our gravestone:

“He did the business”


We can very quickly get over this challenge within our companies, by:

  • Ensuring that people move throughout the organisation, working in different teams and projects
  • Put in people descriptions (Workplace CVs) instead of Job descriptions
  • Ensuring that everyone knows its OK to belong to more than one team
  • Destroying hierarchical structures
  • Realising that your abilities and talents come from within you

A few years ago we were having a presentation from an outside research company, on how we were doing as a department, compared with other IT departments in other companies.

I asked why we were doing this – and my fellow management team looked at me as if I had just broken wind.

I never had an answer.

Why obsess yourself with how well you are doing compared to other companies?

The only question that matters is this – how are you doing now compared to where you want to go?

And if you really want the opinion of others, ask the most important people, your customers.

360 degree appraisals have a place

You have a destiny

With love and best wishes to you, wherever you are



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