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Organizational Integrity and Performance Feedback

I remember being in the audience listening to a speech about leadership by Jack Welch, acknowledged to be one of America’s toughest bosses. There were about 600 of us in the audience.

At one point Jack looked into the crowd and said, “I want to ask you two questions. First, how many of you work for an organization with integrity?” Probably all 600 hands went up in the air.

Then Jack said, “How many of you have received truthful and honest, straight-between-the-eyes feedback on your performance from your boss in  the last 12 months?”

Maybe a couple dozen hands went up.

“Let me tell you something,” Jack told the crowd. “I don’t think you can say yes to the first question unless you can say yes to the second.”

I think he’s right. There’s not a person out there who probably wouldn’t say that he or she wants a truthful answer to the question, “Boss, how am I doing?” Even though we may disagree with it, and disagree violently, and think our boss is just flat dead wrong, we’d rather hear the plain unvarnished truth than be spoon-fed some sugar-coated version to keep from hurting our feelings.

About the Author

Dick Grote has been a management consultant for almost thirty years, specializing exclusively in the field of employee performance appraisal and management. As a consultant, he has created employee performance management systems for several hundred of the world’s best known and most respected companies, including Texas Instruments, JCPenney, Miller Brewing Company, American Airlines, Macy’s, Raytheon, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, and Herman Miller.


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