Starting your annual performance conversation with an updated version of your resume was mentioned in a previous article (see Resume First – Step 1 in your Annual Performance Review). The technique works. The dialog over the resume helps to focus on that annual performance review. Are you adding market value to yourself and your organization?
But there are consequences for organizations that ignore Resume First’s ramifications. One time, I had the joy and honor to do something different. I was asked to assemble an elite team to think ten years ahead. We would figure out what the Internet needed ten years ago and work backward on how that was achieved (protocols, technologies, etc.). We would then pick a few and start work.
It was a small team (10 people plus several dotted-line gurus), with the most critical talent being our Program Managers. Program managers who knew how to work in a large organization, shepherd giant herds of shape talent, and get the work done. It was a humbling clearing the path for this team.
Everything was going well until another group with all geeks and no program managers to herd those geeks convinced management to hijack the team.
Everyone on the team was doing “Resume First” with the extra task. During our coaching sessions, I asked everyone, “If you were not on this team, what three other teams in the company would you like to move to?” It was a practical question to ask as big companies constantly go through reorgs. Everyone liked that conversation. I often helped with suggestions on things happening in the company to checkout. Usually, I would ask them to meet up with their peers in these other teams … validate their assumptions and do some internal networking (and show off our work).
When this “hijack” happened, I was shocked. I came out of my notification meeting with who would be my “new boss” straight into our weekly team meeting. Everyone else was shocked. People asked, “What do we do now?” I asked them what do you want to do? They asked, “Can we move to another group?” My reply “Why not?”
Within an hour, the “company gossip” had SVPs calling to ask for people on my old team to transfer. By the end of the week, everyone had transferred out. When I had my next meeting with my “new boss,” he wanted to discuss using those power program managers. My reply was, “What program manager?” He looked surprised. I replied, “I’m the only one in my group is me. Everyone decided to leave to do other things.” His shocked reply was, “You cannot do that!”
“It is already done. Other groups had the headcount and budget, the team was here because of the mission, they are tops in the field, and thank goodness none left the company.”
There are consequences when you truly empower your team. If you betray their trust, they are prepared to leave. Thankfully in this case, they quickly shifted to another group in the company.
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