As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been sorting out my home office. In an old pile of magazines I found an early issue of Fast Company, with an article on leadeship which examined FedEx’s nine-point system for appraising it’s leaders.
Here, in summary, are the nine qualities on which senior managers at FedEx are rated:
What struck me most about this list is that it is not just about behaviour and competency; it is as much about values and style. It’s also a hard list to live up to. Over the years I have worked for many leaders, and with many clients. Some lived up to a handful of these criteria, others to most. A small number could lay claim to meeting all of these criteria, but often these individuals do not realise it because for them it is just who they are: they don’t need to think about having integrity, or showing respect for others, any more than they have to think about breathing. And by the same token, at appraisal time it can be difficult to gather evidence directly: "can you remember a time when I treated you with respect?" is an odd question for a superior to ask a subordinate, which is where it can be easier to ask staff what they believe are their superior’s core values, ideally in a way that promotes a frank and open exchange.
360 feedback programmes provide an ideal way of colelcting this type of information, however corporate 360s often focus on performance, and especially on performance gaps, turning them into a painful process with five minutes discussing strengths and the rest of the hour examining weaknesses in minute detail. The Reach 360 system provides a more stengths- and values-focussed evaluation mechanism which appeals to the ‘Maximiser‘ in me