Performance Management Tips for Britney Spears

It’s performance review time at Kronos.  I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the 15 years I’ve been a manager giving feedback to people about how to improve their performance at work.  While every employee is unique, there are recurring themes that I’ve needed to address.

Here are a few (illustrated with celebrity examples) that those of you on either side of the performance appraisal equation may find useful in thinking about how to improve your own performance or that of your employees:

  1. Avoid “foot in mouth” syndrome.  This is for those who don’t think before they speak (or who speak without being properly prepared).   One of the best case studies in 2007 is Miss Teen USA South Carolina, Lauren Caitlin Upton – whose completely incomprehensible response to a question about the geographic ignorance of US high school students suggests that she will soon join the ranks of the  underprepared workforce.
  2. Admit to your mistakes, learn from them, move on.  Two words – Britney Spears.  
  3. Be a gracious loser.  No one is always right.  Even when you are right, you won’t always get the project funded, the extra resources, or even the credit that you’ve earned.  Try your hardest to win, but when you lose, conserve your energy for the next challenge.  Last night’s Iowa Caucus gave a few high profile candidates a (perhaps unexpected) opportunity to demonstrate grace in the face of defeat.  Here’s Hillary Clinton’s speech as an example.
  4. Performance improvement starts with self awareness.  Whether it’s listening to feedback from the boss, colleagues and customers or formal assessment testing, you can’t leverage your strengths or mitigate your weaknesses if you don’t know what they are.  Steve Carrell brilliantly demonstrates lack of self awareness as the hapless manager on The Office.
  5. Superior results often require taking some risks.  Walter Lewin, a physics professor at MIT, has become a media star based on his unconventional teaching methods.  Love him or hate him, Steve Jobs has made a career out of looking out over the horizon and creating solutions for needs consumers didn’t even know they had.

What’s the most useful feedback you’ve received during a performance appraisal?

2 thoughts on “Performance Management Tips for Britney Spears

  1. Performance improvement starts with Self Awareness.

    Is this not the precise reason Socrates was assassinated?

    The irony of course is that he was absolutely correct to ask that we search inwards for the answers to what challenges each of us.

    “I have travelled through the valley of the shadow of death, but I shall fear no evil, as i have seen the enemy, and he is me.”

    Don’t you just love performance reviews.

  2. Technical Writing for Monday, April 7, 2008 9:56 AM

    From the Desk of: Veronica A. Maynard@NBC@

    Mrs. Britney Spears-Federline
    To Be Divorced@

    Life is not judged by the shortcomings we fall prey upon
    but by the love and enjoyment from our lives.

    Our children we love, honor and respect.

    If the State Provisions ask that we participate on some safety
    precautions such as Car Seats for Children, Mad Mothers Against Drunk Drivers1 (Reference) and other such advise of precaution
    we must adhere to these provisions and such stated laws.

    We also must adhere to such things as necessary clothing
    for the protection and better health of our bodies.

    We must also continue to live clean and healty lives which
    provide better living.

    We also would like to reconsider you for further performance
    under your established guidelines for continuance in the
    Activity and Performance of Stage and Actors & Actresses

    Please continue to be a Good Mother and a Great Actress;
    sometimes in our personal lives such things as Divorce,
    Separate & Joint Custody Cases, Alimony and other details of
    Separation of Couples occur. Please be observant of these

    We hope and wish the best of your life, Britney Spears.


    Signing Off: Veronica A. Maynard@, Stump Internationale@, Tiny Productions@


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