If you whittle down your definition of leadership to its most basic function, it’s about people. I recently posted this on Twitter: Leadership is all about how people react to what we say and do.
When you take the time to reflect and evaluate your experiences, there will be certain tasks that you will want to repeat (redo) and tasks you should never do again (revoke). There will be tasks that might only need to be tweaked or changed a little (revise). There will even be things that went well, by your own effort or the effort of others, that you need to recognize (reward). But if you’re a leader, you must take a close look at the people involved in your evaluation process.
The final evaluation perspective of recruit focuses intentionally and specifically on people.
When you spend time evaluating an experience through this perspective, you are reflecting through the lens of leadership. Of course, I’m making the assumption that you’re not working alone (a leader has followers, plain and simple). Yet, even if you are evaluating an experience that only involves you, in complete isolation of any other person, this perspective can move you in the direction of leadership.
· Who was involved with you in this experience?
· What were the strengths and weaknesses of those involved?
· What strengths would be beneficial to make this experience better next time?
· Is there someone else that you’d like to involve if you did this again? Someone to not invite back?
The perspective of recruit forces you to look at all of the people who were involved. It reflects on the benefits and barriers each person brought to the experience. It takes a look at how the team worked together. It focuses on getting the right people involved and putting them in positions to succeed, to make the experience better.
For example, we host an annual variety show on our campus. Traditionally, the event has been hosted by our Freshman Class Council. One year, we felt like it would be better to have the Junior Class Council come alongside and assist the Freshman. We thought their input would be helpful since they had seen and participated in the variety show in previous years. But it didn’t go well. Neither class knew who was really in charge and the Junior Class ended up doing more work then they anticipated. After the variety show was over, both Class Councils came back to us and told us it didn’t work. We needed a better strategy to clarify who was going to lead this event.
Do you see how this perspective is helpful? We didn’t need to improve on the tasks or the timeline when it came to the variety show (at least in this instance). It was a question of “who” needed to lead. As a result of the evaluation process, we’ve gone back to having the Freshman Class alone host the variety show.
In Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great, he talks about the need to get the right people on the bus and in the right seats and then decide where you are going. When it comes to the perspective of recruit, you want to look back and ask yourself a couple of key questions:
· Did I have the right people on the bus? (Were the best people involved?)
· Were they in the right seat? (Were they involved in effective ways?)
You’ll quickly realize that there is overlap in the evaluation process. When you recognize that someone did a great job and you definitely want to work with them again (recruit) that you’ll want to acknowledge their effort in some way (reward). Or you might realize that you had a great team (recruit) but they needed to perform in different roles with tasks that better fit their strengths (revise).
The purpose of the five perspectives is to give you some handles on evaluating the “who, what, and why” of an experience. If you take all five perspectives into account when you review and reflect it will enhance your experience, resulting in…
a) lessons that you can learn and apply in the future.
b) a better experience next time.
c) a sense of closure that gives you momentum toward your next experience.
d) better tools to use in your leadership.
e) a disciplined approach to evaluation.
You can download the Experience Evaluation Form for free.