May 5 2011

The Gift of Feedback, Part III

The Gift of Feedback, Part III

I’ve written about our 360 Review process at Return Path a few times in the past:

And the last two times around, I’ve also posted the output of my own review publicly here in the form of my development plan:

So here we are again.  I have my new development plan all spruced up and ready to go.  Many thanks to my team and Board for this valuable input, and to Angela Baldonero (my fantastic SVP People and in-house coach), and Marc Maltz of Triad Consulting for helping me interpret the data and draft this plan.  Here at a high level is what I’m going to be working on for the next 1-2 years:

  • Institutionalize impatience and lessen the dependency dynamic on me.  What does this mean?  Basically it means that I want to make others in the organization and on my team in particular as impatient as I am for progress, success, reinvention, streamlining and overcoming/minimizing operational realities.  I’ll talk more about something I’ve taken to calling “productive disruption” in a future blog post
  • Focus on making every staff interaction at all levels a coaching session.  Despite some efforts over the years, I still feel like I talk too much when I interact with people in the organization on a 1:1 or small group basis.  I should be asking many more questions and teaching people to fish, not fishing for them
  • Continue to foster deep and sustained engagement at all levels.  We’ve done a lot of this, really well, over the years.  But at nearly 250 people now and growing rapidly, it’s getting harder and harder.  I want to focus some real time and energy in the months to come on making sure we keep this critical element of our culture vibrant at our new size and stage
  • I have some other more tactical goals as well like improving at public speaking and getting more involved with leadership recruiting and management training, but the above items are more or less the nub of it

One thing I know I’ll have to do with some of these items and some of the tactical ones in particular is engage in some form of deliberate practice, as defined by Geoffrey Colvin in his book Talent is Overrated (blog post on the book here).  That will be interesting to figure out.

But that’s the story.  Everyone at Return Path and on my Board – please help me meet these important goals for my development over the next couple of years!