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The Leader's Playbook™

Tough Situations

Take a page out of the Playbook

for some of the toughest situations leaders face.

There is no more valuable commodity a leader may possess than that of an in-depth knowledge of one’s people.

There are an infinite number of one-on-one situations that leaders will experience in their lives and careers.  The situations in this section of The Leader’s Playbook™ are described by the degree of difficulty (Tough, Tougher, Toughest) leaders face in successfully handling them and represent a broad spectrum of the situations every leader will encounter. 

Each situation describes the situation facing the leader, what the leader’s mission (purpose) should be, what the leader should do or say, and why what they should do or say will work.  Check this section of The Leader's Playbook often, we'll update it frequently.  


An employee asks for an overall assessment of his/her job performance.

Deliver an objective assessment of their performance over a specified period of time.

Your focus should be exclusively on what he/she has said or done.  Don't focus (though you may briefly mention it) on potential.  Here's a quick, yet effective format and method to deliver an objective assessment of his/her performance:

Performance Feedback Form (Example)

Download a free Performance Feedback Form here.

Special Notes:  How to use the Performance Feedback Form:

  • Use the performance feedback form to focus on what they did and what he/she should do better.  Focus on actions he/she took or should take, not necessarily the results.  You're not helping him/her unless you help him/her understand that actions lead to results.
  • Never, never, never make mention of what his/her attitude has been, is, or should be.  It's not helpful or necessary.
  • You may need the input of others who work with him/her.  Seek it out.  Ask them what he/she does well and what he/she could do better.  There's a good chance that you aren't able to observe a lot of his/her daily activities.
  • Do not ask them to evaluate themselves ahead of time or before you and he/she meet.  It doesn't contribute to your purpose.
  • Once you complete the form, do not just hand it to him/her and ask him/her to read it.  Carve out ten to fifteen minutes of time and meet with him/her to discuss it.  Listen to his/her comments or questions.  Allow him/her to disagree with you and change your opinion if his/her points are good ones.

People need to know where they stand, how they stack up, how you view their performance, and they need to know it more frequently than the once-a-year annual review.  The more often you can provide them with an honest assessment of their performance, the more likely it is that they will keep them involved, engaged and committed to a high level of performance.  Keep it simple.  It's not necessary to spend hours filling out forms.  Use the form to work for you and your schedule.  View it as a thinking tool for you.

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