Four Questions Answered By Two More

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November 10, 2016
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So it all started with four simple questions:

1. What do you think of one on one meetings?

2. Do you think we should continue to do performance reviews?

3. Should they be formal or informal?

4. Is me checking on the teams KPI’s a good use of my limited time?

Now the great thing about these questions is that they were not questions of judgement but questions about understanding and planning. Basically the client was asking them, in preparation, as to how they would approach the performance of the team they will lead in 2017.

They are by no means unique questions, in fact, they are questions centred around a subject matter that is being constantly discussed and debated across many different platforms, situations and organisations.

Now rather than go through and answer each of the above questions, or get into the merit benefit and relevance of KPI’s performance reviews, one on ones etc. I want to look at what I believe is the precursor to all of the questions above and or their answers.

So before any of these questions or the like should even be considered, let alone answered, there are two other questions that need to be contemplated and resolved.

In your belief;

Is leadership something you do ‘to’ somebody?


Is leadership something you do ‘with’ somebody?

Now the reason these two later questions become so important is that however you answer them ,your response will go a long way in determining what your approach will be in dealing with the four earlier questions.

However, on a greater scale, how you answer the last two questions will directly influence how you approach leadership, the team and the individuals within it and therefore the overall subject of performance management.

Now the second part of this little puzzle and probably the more difficult part is, how does each individual on the team and the team as a unit also answer:

Is leadership something you do ‘to’ somebody?


Is leadership something you do ‘with’ somebody?

So cutting to the chase…if you as leader and the team and individuals involved see that leadership is something you do ‘with’ somebody, then the approach to performance enhancement will be one of combined focus, commitment and shared responsibility.

On the other hand if you, or those you lead see leadership as something you do ‘to’ somebody, then it will be more of a command and control, master/servant relationship and approach. Not that this approach cannot work, as history has and will continue to show that it does.

So the two later questions in my opinion are the lynch pins to how and why you will approach performance enhancement. The answers are ultimately determined by your philosophy, experience, situation and the people you lead.

There are many different ways you can get to an end result, but for now just consider the two questions of:

Is leadership something you do ‘to’ somebody?


Is leadership something you do ‘with’ somebody?

And answer them so that above all else, and in the right way, and for the right reasons…

The Journey Continues!

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