Episode 12 – Performance Reviews Pt. 1

Episode #12
Original Air Date: 06.21.2016

30 Minutes

Listen Here
0:00
0:00

Our Guest This Episode: Andy Crowe, Bill Yates, Nick Walker

Andy and the team gather around the table to discuss performance reviews and why they are important for the success of every organization. Tune in to hear how frequently you should be giving open, honest, clear and direct reviews.

Favorite Quotes from Our Talk:

"Project managers should look at a performance review as a chance to give open and honest and clear, direct information to their direct reports, to people who have a dotted line to them, however it works. Let them know what’s working. Let them know what’s not. And be as clear and honest and open about that as you can."

- Andy Crowe

"One of the things that we’ve seen is we talked about the bell curve and some of the stack and the ranking that was done by some prior organizations. And what we’ve seen is a transition, and it’s what we’re mirroring here at Velociteach, to an approach that’s more frequent and less formal. So less formal performance appraisals, performed more frequently. And again, it smacks of Agile; right? But this is good advice for project managers to embrace this."

- Bill Yates

Share With Others

ANDY CROWE ● BILL YATES ● NICK WALKER

NICK WALKER:  Welcome to Manage This, the podcast by project managers for project managers.  Every couple of weeks we get together to talk about what matters to you as a professional project manager.  We talk about project management certification, doing the stuff of project management, and we pick the brains of some of the leaders in the industry.

I’m your host, Nick Walker; and with me are our resident experts, Andy Crowe and Bill Yates.  They are project managers themselves, and they instruct other project managers and those working to become one.

Guys, here we are.  It is officially summer now.  And we’re in that time of year when maybe things get a little bit more relaxed.  I don’t know.  Does it feel like that to you?

ANDY CROWE:  I’m dressed up today, Nick.  I don’t feel relaxed today.  I’m on my game.

NICK WALKER:  You’re on.  Okay, okay.  Maybe nothing changes for you in the summertime.

BILL YATES:  It feels hot and muggy, I can tell you that.

NICK WALKER:  Yeah, it feels like it’s been summer for three weeks or more already.  But here we are officially.  Time of year that maybe some of us, Andy excluded, dress a little bit more relaxed.

ANDY CROWE:  Let me just say, Nick, that I am going to Hawaii in September.

NICK WALKER:  Oh, okay, there you go.

ANDY CROWE:  So that’s going to be – and it’s for one day of work, or maybe two days of work, and a lot more relaxation.

NICK WALKER:  There you go.

ANDY CROWE:  So maybe at that point we’ll get closer to your vision.

NICK WALKER:  It is the time of year when we think about vacations, too.  So a lot of things are going on.  But it’s also midyear, and there’s something that happens in midyear in most companies.  And that is – are we ready to cue the scary music?  This strikes terror into the hearts of many managers, as well as employees.  We’re talking about, Andy?

ANDY CROWE:  Performance reviews.

NICK WALKER:  Performance reviews.  There’s the scary music.  All right.  Granted, some performance reviews are fairly routine.  Nobody gets killed, usually.  But sometimes it can be kind of scary.  Sometimes it can mean a job or no job.

ANDY CROWE:  Yeah, everybody’s blood pressure is going to go up during that time.  And that goes for the person giving the performance review, definitely for the person receiving it.  It is a natural anxiety-producing event, and it causes a lot of people some nervousness.  So we’re here to talk through it and specifically look at it from a project manager’s perspective.  Project managers a lot of times have to either conduct these or give input into them.  And so we’re going to talk through that, and hopefully help talk some people off the balcony.

BILL YATES:  Yeah, I feel like this is an opportunity for us to reach out and hold the hand of the project manager and kind of another hand on the back going, hey, we’ve been there, done that.  We’ve been on the receiving end.  We’ve had to do the research to provide feedback to team members.  We can help you with this.

NICK WALKER:  Good, good.  Well, I’ve been on the receiving end of many performance reviews.

BILL YATES:  Yeah, we were going to talk to you about that.

NICK WALKER:  Oh, is this going to be a performance review now?  Oh, you’re springing this on me.  All right.  Here we go.  But I’ve never given one.  You guys have.  And I know that’s a huge responsibility.  I’d like to get your perspective on that.  Andy, how do you do it?  How do you really get there?

ANDY CROWE:  You know, there’s a lot of different practices.  And one interesting thing, one of my really good friends works for a sizable company here in Atlanta.  And they are a utility company.  And they rank every employee within the organization.  I believe they have just shy of 2,000 employees.  Every employee gets ranked from 1 to 1,999, all the way through.  And I’ve always found that to be fascinating because I know how those exercises go.  I’ve actually participated peripherally with them on some of those exercises before, and some of the gyrations that you go through in doing that.

And so what it’s going to be is anything like that’s probably going to look something like a bell curve, where the people on the left, there’s a few people competing for those top 1 through 50 slots.  There’s a few people who are probably fairly obvious they’re having a bad year, and they are going to get in the bottom 50 slots.  And then it’s going to start tapering up.  And the ones in the middle, everybody’s jockeying.  Nobody wants to be to the right side of that bell curve.  Everybody wants to be to the left side and to get the higher performance reviews.

Now, the funny thing is it’s not directly tied to resource actions.  Nobody gets explicitly fired because you came in last.

BILL YATES:  Okay.

ANDY CROWE:  Nobody explicitly gets a raise or a compensation adjustment up or down based on this.  But the ranking starts to inform a lot of your HR.  And so now, you know, it amazes me that they actually do this and rank everybody from first to last, but that’s the way they do it.

BILL YATES:  That’s what they do.  Does it impact where you can park?  Or where you can sit in the cafeteria?

ANDY CROWE:  Wouldn’t that be funny?  The furthest, you’ve got to park further away.  No, I don’t think it does.

BILL YATES:  They give you a nice long walk to the office so you can really think about how you can raise to the next percentile.

ANDY CROWE:  That’s sort of an extreme example.  Some organizations do that.  They’ll rank employees.  And whereas it doesn’t change anything immediately, in reality it informs everything.  It’s going to inform your career.  It’s going to inform how you relate to people.  And it’s visible to everybody. So there’s transparency there.  And everybody from the CEO down to the mail clerk gets ranked within the organization.

BILL YATES:  I cannot recall – there’s a specific episode of “The Office” that tackled this.  But I don’t – I could just see that cast wearing numbers on their foreheads; right?

ANDY CROWE:  Right.  Dwight would want everyone to know.

BILL YATES:  Look at my number.  His would probably be very large font.

ANDY CROWE:  So the good news is you sort of know where you stand.  You understand your value within the organization.  There’s a lot of complications with that.  So I would not – I wouldn’t hold that up necessarily as an example of doing it right.

Now, there’s been a lot of evolution.  So these performance reviews became popular as labor law started becoming popular.  And so the 1950s, the 1960s, certain labor laws are being passed, certainly here in the United States.  And along with those, this became more and more important.  The rise of human resources as a function within the organization became more and more important.  They started requiring these.  So there’s been a lot of evolution over the years of how they’re done.

Now, in the early days they were very heavy-handed.  The managers sat down, told you everything you were doing wrong, documented it, moved on.  Usually there was, if you were doing well, you got a compensation adjustment up.  If you weren’t, you got threatened.  And then, as employee rights kind of became more and more popular, it became more of a legitimate exercise.  So then in the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, now things were documented into your file that mattered.  And they’ll tell you when you’re doing well and when you’re not.  A lot of, you know, Bill and I were laughing about a Dilbert cartoon that he had shown me, where the manager was basically saying, “Look, I have to put something bad in your performance report in case I ever have to fire you.”

BILL YATES:  Right.

ANDY CROWE:  So a lot of managers have that reaction out of fear because they know that, in some states within this country, you can’t fire somebody for no reason.  You have to have cause.

BILL YATES:  Right.

ANDY CROWE:  So the evolution kind of went on.  In the ‘90s it got really popular.  And I know that John Chambers at Cisco popularized this.  I think Jack Welch was one of the pioneers of this method.  And they would either call it “stack ranking” or “core.”  And they would take and rank people, and the bottom 10 percent got cored out of the organization.  They were just removed.  There were some other organizations that did it, as well.

BILL YATES:  Yeah.  And another funny name, Jack Welch and GE called it the “vitality curve.”  Now, if I’m that bottom 10 percent getting cored out of there, I don’t feel so lively or vital at the moment.  So that was interesting.

ANDY CROWE:  “And why did you leave your last organization?”  “Well, they thought I didn’t have vitality.  I was in the bottom 10 percent, and they kicked me out.”

BILL YATES:  They kicked me out, yeah, yeah.

ANDY CROWE:  I have a feeling that would probably be an answer you’d rehearse a little bit differently.

BILL YATES:  Yeah, you’d have to overcome that.

NICK WALKER:  Now, I’m sure a lot of us have experienced this; and every time we’ve gone into a performance review we think, okay, there’s got to be a better way.  Is there a better way than some of these ways we’ve been talking about?

BILL YATES:  Yeah.  I think it’s something that Andy and I have noted.  When you look at, again, look at Cisco.  You look at GE.  There are other companies.  Microsoft recently has made a change; Accenture, dropping the bell curve approach; Cisco; Infosys.  So we do see there’s an awakening, if you will, or a next, you know, how can we become better in performing these performance reviews and appraisals?

ANDY CROWE:  Yeah, and part of that came from this idea that, okay, the problem is with the people.  So we always have an opportunity to upgrade our people.  This was kind of John Chambers’ mantra back years ago.  And of course he was a very effective CEO at Cisco.  So he was no lightweight.  He’s kind of famous within those halls.  But they looked at it, we always have an opportunity.  There’s always going to be a bottom 10 percent.  We can remove those, inject new blood.  And it’s sort of this idea of bringing in some new ideas, new energy, new people, new faces, and put those into the mix and see how they fare.  And you always remove the bottom 10 percent.

Now the evolution’s shifting a little bit.  And there’s this idea of team and team development that says, look, yes, there’s going to be a bottom 10 percent at any point in time.  That’s not completely because – necessarily.  And in any sizable organization it’s not just because you have the wrong people.  There are a lot of circumstances that can contribute to that, and there are a lot of things that the company, the organization itself can do to bring those top 10 percent in and move them up, move them to the right, if you will, on that bell curve in effectiveness.

BILL YATES:  Yeah.  Many times you’ve got the right people; you have them in the wrong spot.  Right?  Or they just need training.  They need tools.  So to churn that bottom 10 percent – and think of the impact that has on morale; right?  I mean, it’s one thing if I’m walking the long distance from the parking lot or sitting in the special seats in the cafeteria.  But if I know that, okay, once a year our team goes through this process, and we do this review, I’m worried about my job.  I’m looking for Plan B.

ANDY CROWE:  And you have one bad year, one year where a project goes south, one year where there’s massive team conflict, one year where you have personal situations that throw you off, and suddenly you can end up on the wrong side of that.

BILL YATES:  Yeah.  We’ve all had customers before where you’re like, wow, I’m so glad this project is over.  This customer was impossible to make happy.

ANDY CROWE:  I’ve never had that [laughter].

BILL YATES:  Customers are number one.

ANDY CROWE:  But Nick, to your question.  So there are some best practices.  And I would say really, right off the bat, you’re going to be dealing with one delineation, and that is there’s a big difference between a positive performance review and maybe one that’s more corrective in nature.  And so right off the bat, you think about that.  And most managers go into it and think that way.

That’s not really the way project managers should think about this.  Project managers should look at a performance review as a chance to give open and honest and clear, direct information to their direct reports, to people who have a dotted line to them, however it works.  Let them know what’s working.  Let them know what’s not.  And be as clear and honest and open about that as you can.

BILL YATES:  Yeah.  And because we’re so metric-driven as project managers, this is not a time to go, oh, this is all subjective.  I can’t really put my hands on anything measurable.  No.  That’s not the case at all.  We have, just as we have weekly status reports in a rhythm in our projects, we do the same with our team members.  We know how productive people are being.  How close to their estimates are they coming?  What kind of, when I compare their output versus others, how does it stack up?  How do they interface with customers compared to others on the team?  So these are things that we can measure.  So we can be specific.  We can be authentic.  We can be honest with team members.  And we can point to results.

ANDY CROWE:  And Bill, you touched on something interesting.  In this idea, really, project managers in general, we don’t like surprises.

BILL YATES:  Right.

ANDY CROWE:  We don’t want surprises on our projects.  We don’t want surprises with our team.  And a lot of the work we do with planning and measuring and communicating is designed to eliminate or reduce surprises.  Surprises to us translate to uncertainty, and uncertainty is another word for risk.

BILL YATES:  Risk.

ANDY CROWE:  Yeah.  Which we don’t want.

BILL YATES:  And then we’ve got to go ask for more money, more time.  We don’t like that.  No, no, no.

ANDY CROWE:  Exactly.  So in this case the idea is we don’t want surprises with our performance reviews and performance reports, as well.  We want to be able to talk to people.  We want to be able to have honest, open communication.  So that at that point it may be formal, and it may be required by HR; it may be required by some functional manager that we give input.  But it’s not going to be a total surprise to somebody.  And how many times have you been involved in a performance review, and the person’s been shocked?

BILL YATES:  Right.

ANDY CROWE:  I’ve seen it happen before.  They come back and say, “I had no idea.  I didn’t know this was a problem, et cetera.”  Well, okay, shame on the manager.

BILL YATES:  Right.

ANDY CROWE:  Unless that person’s completely disconnected from reality.

BILL YATES:  Yeah, yeah.

ANDY CROWE:  Shame on the manager.

BILL YATES:  Right.  That’s a great point.  And it’s interesting when we talk about measurable factors that we can point to in performance appraisals, and that tendency, too, to – are we going to hold onto information too long?  Or do we have too long of a pause, too long of a gap between those appraisals or those conversations?

ANDY CROWE:  Right.

BILL YATES:  Because that’s where those surprises have come into play in situations in the past.  We let too long go.  There was too much time between those reviews or those conversations.  And then we realized, okay, we’ve had a disconnect here.

ANDY CROWE:  Right.  And so the maximum distance between performance reviews, the maximum amount of time you want is a year.  You should at least be giving people annual feedback.  We’ve transitioned here at Velociteach to something more frequent.

BILL YATES:  Right, right.  And you know, Andy, I think of some of the recent guests we’ve had on, and I think about our prior conversations on Agile.  I think there are a lot from Agile practices that now we’re doing with these performance appraisals, which is we need to build a more frequent rhythm into this.  There needs to be – there are natural breaks in our work performance where it makes sense to call a timeout and let’s assess, see how we’ve done.

ANDY CROWE:  Agile has retrospectives at the end of each sprint or iteration.

BILL YATES:  Right.

ANDY CROWE:  Where they’re going to sit down, they’re going to look at their own practices, but they’re also going to work out kinks within the team.

BILL YATES:  Yeah.

ANDY CROWE:  And that’s the idea, when we’ve started looking at these frequent sort of micro reviews, to give people updates regularly so that it’s no shock.

Now, there’s sort of a caveat here.  And one of the caveats is that this can be a formal process, and probably should be in some ways.  These things have to be documented for Human Resource.  And a lot of that’s because of labor laws and because of problems when you have to terminate an employee, when you have to part ways.  That can be a testy thing, and you don’t want somebody saying, “Well, I never got that feedback.”  It needs to be in their file.  It needs to be documented.  It’s one of those processes.  Everybody’s had to probably – well, not everybody, but a lot of us have had to go through that at some point or another and do that very formally.

BILL YATES:  Right.

ANDY CROWE:  One of the things that aligns to my leadership style is this Results Oriented Work Environment, or ROWE.  And the idea behind a ROWE is that employees are really not judged on their effort, they’re judged on the results.  And so you don’t really track the effort.  You don’t document it.  You don’t review them based on how many hours they worked, how hard they’ve worked.  You review them based on certain predefined metrics and outcomes and goals.  And I really like that.  Now, that doesn’t work for everybody.  And a lot of organizations, unfortunately, it’s still sort of in our psyche that we do reward the effort.

BILL YATES:  Right.

ANDY CROWE:  We really reward the person who comes in, stays late, burns the midnight oil and is stressed all the time, and their brow’s furrowed, and…

BILL YATES:  You know…

ANDY CROWE:  I remember George Costanza.  And you know what I’m thinking.  He decided, if you look angry all the time, that people leave you alone.  They don’t assign you stuff because you look like you’ve got too much on your plate.

BILL YATES:  Exactly.  And he always had that Penske file; right?  He had it in the briefcase.  It was well tabulated.

ANDY CROWE:  I think this was when he was in the baseball organization.  But, yeah, he figured out…

BILL YATES:  He knew how to play.

ANDY CROWE:  …how to avoid getting new work.

BILL YATES:  Yeah.

ANDY CROWE:  So a lot of times we do reward the effort that people put in, when really it’s the results that organizations are after.  And so it’s a tough thing to make that transition and say, hey, your effort is appreciated, but it’s no longer going to be rewarded.  It’s not what matters.  What matters is the results.

BILL YATES:  Yeah.  And Andy, you and I have had conversations, either from past experiences we’ve had prior to Velociteach with projects that we’ve managed, and programs; and then even with our team, lessons that we’ve learned here, and ways to adjust that.  And one of the things that we’ve seen is we talked about the bell curve and some of the stack and the ranking that was done by some prior organizations.  And what we’ve seen is a transition, and it’s what we’re mirroring here at Velociteach, to an approach that’s more frequent and less formal.  So less formal performance appraisals, performed more frequently.  And again, it smacks of Agile; right?  But this is good advice for project managers to embrace this.

NICK WALKER:  It strikes me as maybe this isn’t entirely a new idea, though.  I mean, I remember 30 years ago a little book came out, “The One Minute Manager,” talks about one-minute reviews or one-minute corrections.  Is that what you’re talking about?  Or are you talking about something a little bit more formal?

BILL YATES:  No, that’s a really good analogy.  And I also like to bring in a sports analogy with this.  Think about maybe one of the highest pressure sports, in the United States, anyway, is the National Football League.  It’s football.  And in the NFL there’s, I mean, they are just churning out money.  It’s unbelievable how successful that organization is.  But you look at the pressure on the coaches and on the players to perform, it’s huge.  NFL, the other thing it stands for is Not For Long.  So if you underperform in the NFL, you’re gone; right?

ANDY CROWE:  Yeah.  I wouldn’t trade careers.

BILL YATES:  Right.

ANDY CROWE:  I’m just saying.

BILL YATES:  Yeah, it’s, you know, we grouse about, oh, these multimillion-dollar contracts.  But you look at the life expectancy on these guys.

ANDY CROWE:  Right.

BILL YATES:  Yeah.  But there, think about when you watch a game, or really any kind of sporting event, and the coaching that takes place there.  It’s real-time; right?  A player misses a block in football, or in soccer they make a bad pass.

ANDY CROWE:  And the coach smiles and pats him encouragingly on the back.

BILL YATES:  Right, right, makes a note in a little book to bring it up a year later in the performance review; right?  No.  As soon as that player comes off the field.  And sometimes the coach calls a timeout and says, all right, I’ve got to talk to him now.  Or as soon as the play is over, hey, substitute in for somebody else.  You see that real-time performance appraisal going on, on the sideline; right?  They’re in their face, talking about, “Hey, you missed this block.  Because you missed the block, my multimillion-dollar quarterback is on the ground now.  He’s injured.”

ANDY CROWE:  Gasping, yeah.

BILL YATES:  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  So there’s something for us to learn.  And that is the value of, in the moment, providing that feedback.

NICK WALKER:  This requires, though, the manager to really be observant.

BILL YATES:  Exactly.  Right.  You’ve got to be – you’ve got to be involved with the team.

ANDY CROWE:  And the beauty of that book, “The One Minute Manager” – and Nick, it’s been forever since I’ve read that.  But I remember reading it.  And one of the points they made was you don’t just catch somebody when they’ve done something wrong.  You make it a point to find somebody when they’re doing something right, give specific feedback right there on the spot.  And that’s going to be terrifically effective.  It’s so easy for some of us to only observe when people make mistakes, when people miss that block, when the quarterback’s on the ground.

BILL YATES:  Yeah, right.

ANDY CROWE:  And yet that’s not the most effective time to give feedback.

BILL YATES:  Exactly.  Yeah, again, going back to the sports analogy.  You look at the, I mean, they literally grade out every player, every position, immediately after the game.  And it’s, yeah, they’re going to point out the missed blocks and the missed tackles and that kind of thing.  But they’re also pointing out, to Andy’s point, here’s where you broke that tailback loose for 15 yards because you had that block on that linebacker.  This is how can we do that again?  How can we repeat the good performance?

ANDY CROWE:  And you know what, it’s easy for those of us just watching as spectators to see who threw the ball and who caught it and the touchdown.

BILL YATES:  Right.

ANDY CROWE:  But you don’t realize that there was a whole clockwork mechanism in the background, and every one of those jobs probably had to be done correctly in order for that to work.

BILL YATES:  Right.  Yup, yup, that’s it, yeah.  So the idea of, okay, what can we take from that, what can we take from “The One Minute Manager,” what can we take from sports, things that we see that are working in very time-sensitive, high-pressure environments, and how can we embrace that in our roles as team leaders?  So the tendency or the trend to less formal, more frequent feedback is something we’re all about.

ANDY CROWE:  You know, I recall back in the 1980s, and Coach Vince Dooley for the Georgia Bulldogs would take dog bones, little stickers, and put them on the helmets.  And I think they still do something to that end. But he would put little dog bones on the helmets when they made a great play.  And suddenly it became visible for everybody to see.  It wasn’t just feedback.  It wasn’t just communication.  But it was something now for everybody to look at and see.

BILL YATES:  Yeah, it was a point of pride.

ANDY CROWE:  It was a point of pride.  You wanted your helmet full of that, and it was a motivating point.

BILL YATES:  Right, yeah.

NICK WALKER:  So how do we translate that to the everyday business life?

BILL YATES:  Well, there’s a lot to look at there, Nick.  And I think there’s a study that I want to point out that Deloitte conducted a public study.  This was pointed out in the Harvard Business Review in 2015.  And the authors of the study were Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall.  Marcus Buckingham, we’re very familiar with him – “Now, Discover Your Strengths,” “StandOut,” some of the books that he’s written.  Listeners may have done the Strengthsfinder Survey before to identify skills, strengths, weaknesses, that kind of thing.  Play to your strengths.  That’s really his mantra.

And in that study that they conducted, they were surveying executives.  And the question before the executive was look at your current performance management approach.  Does it drive employee engagement?  Does it drive high performance?  And the results were startling:  58 percent said no.  They answered no to that.  Fifty-eight percent said this is broken.  So that brings us to the point of, okay, the old annual review, holding onto that data for a year after the good behavior or the bad behavior has taken place and then sitting down and trying to recount it is not effective.

ANDY CROWE:  I want to talk about a mistake you made 11 months ago.

BILL YATES:  Right.

ANDY CROWE:  Nobody wants to hear that.

BILL YATES:  Yeah, it’s like four projects ago.  What are you talking about?  Yeah.  So there’s so much to learn from this.  And the survey really, really hits it out.

NICK WALKER:  Well, Andy and Bill, we’ve covered a lot of ground.  But we still have a lot of ground to cover.  And I think we’ll take this up in our next podcast – some tactical practices, some lessons learned, and techniques from other companies.  What are some of those companies we want to learn from?

BILL YATES:  Yeah, some of those companies that have really been breaking ground here are Deloitte, Adobe, GE, Accenture.  There are several others, but those are some highlights.

NICK WALKER:  So we’re going to get into that next time.  Obviously, there are a lot of great resources out there to drawn on when it comes to molding a review process.  And I’m always impressed at how researched you guys are and how well read you are.  So Andy, what are you reading right now?

ANDY CROWE:  I’m kind of an exercise in unfocus and dysfunction on that.  I’m reading three books at once, which I don’t recommend to anybody.  But it depends on what mood I’m in and what kind of insomnia I’m dealing with that night.  And so I’m reading “Creativity, Inc.,” which I think Bill referenced in a previous podcast.  But it’s a great book about Pixar.  It’s about some of their history, how they got going, and then a lot of their process for creative excellence.  And it’s a fascinating book.  I’m enjoying that thoroughly.

I’m going through “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” with my oldest son.  And he is about to turn 23.  And he and I are going through that and just talking through it.  And that has been a fun exercise, to read that with him and go through it with him.  And then I’m reading a fictional book set about a thousand years into the future called “The Abyss at the Edge of Our Dreams.”  And that one is stretching my imagination somewhat, too.  So it all varies upon what day or what night.  How about you, Bill?

BILL YATES:  I am also guilty of having more books on the bookshelf or the bedside table than I really should have.  So I’m picking them up, putting them down, depending on what I’m in the mood for.  One that I’m reading is called “Nail It Then Scale It.”  I’ll have more to share about that later.

The one I want to tell you about today is a fun one.  For me it’s personal.  I have three buddies who have collaborated.  This is their idea of a midlife crisis is to write a book.  And they wrote a graphic novel.  It’s called “The Jekyll Island Chronicles,” and it’s the first.  They’re hoping to continue their habit of meeting on Wednesday nights and writing this graphic novel series.  The way this thing is based, just to give you a sense, it’s like alternative history.  So they took, if you think back to between the two world wars, one sixth of the nation’s, no, sorry, of the world’s wealth was in a little place called Jekyll Island.  They all vacationed there, so you’re talking the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, the J.P. Morgans.  They vacationed there.

So these guys, my three buddies, took this, they latched onto that, and they said, what if they came together and created a League of Nations, if you will, or something to that effect, and had to fight evil?  So it’s a graphic novel.  It’s unbelievably rich.  When you look at the graphics in it, the artistic work is phenomenal.

ANDY CROWE:  It really is amazing.  It’s so well done.

NICK WALKER:  Yeah, the detail in that art is amazing.

ANDY CROWE:  Yeah.  You know, I remember the first time I ever encountered the graphic novel “Watchmen,” which was later turned into a movie, but the graphic novel.  And it did a similar thing.  It’s a history that sort of parallels ours, but not exactly.

BILL YATES:  Yeah.

ANDY CROWE:  And there’s different elements to it.  So they’re building on a rich tradition there.

BILL YATES:  It’s a lot of fun.

NICK WALKER:  It really is.  Andy and Bill, once again, thank you for your expertise and your ability to pass it on.  This might be a good time to invite our listeners to give us a performance review.  So we just want to invite you to tell us what you like, what you’d like to hear in the future on this podcast.  And you can do that by visiting us at Velociteach.com/managethis to contact us, to subscribe to this podcast, or to see a transcript of the show.  And tweet us at @manage_this if you have any questions.  Or if you know of someone who would be a perfect guest on our show, we want to hear from you, as well.

So Andy Crowe, Bill Yates, thanks as always for sharing your expertise.  That’s it for us here on Manage This.  We hope you’ll tune back in on July 5th, when we’ll continue our conversation on performance reviews.  That’s all for this episode.  Talk to you soon.  In the meantime, keep calm and Manage This.

One response to “Episode 12 – Performance Reviews Pt. 1”

  1. Avatar Laura Williams says:

    Thanks for doing these… I am plowing through a lot of these (recerts of PMI-SP and PMP) and find them all interesting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

{"cart_token":"","hash":"","cart_data":""}