CEO Shoptalk: Self-Appraisal

There is a chance that if you are the CEO of a small business, a privately held business — so, not a startup — or a startup that is initially self-funded and, thus, has no investors looking over your shoulder, you do not have a working Board of Directors and, thus, do not have a meaningful CEO performance appraisal system in place.

Let’s pretend that Boards of Directors always have a working CEO performance appraisal plan in place. Isn’t that charming?

Not to fret, you can self-appraise your performance, but how do you do that?

Tell me, Big Red Car, how do I self-appraise?

You appraise yourself similarly to how you appraise the performance of those who work for you. No big revelation there, right? [You do have a robust system of performance appraisal with formal goals and tied to compensation, right? Right?]

 1. You take a process driven, orderly approach. Here is a form you can use to guide your efforts:


 If you use this form as a guide, you will touch on a lot of very important things such as self-development. Did you read a bloody book or go to a professional development seminar?

 2. Use your annual plan — you do have an annual plan, right? — to guide your measure of personal goal attainment. Did you accomplish personally what you set out to accomplish?

 3. Join a group like Young Presidents’ Organization, Vistage, or The Alternative Board (TAB) and use that group as an insight into comparable peer performance.

 4. Find a mentor with whom you can discuss the situation.

 5. Hire a CEO coach and discuss performance with your coach.

Ideally, you will do more than one of the above.

Then what, Big Red Car?

You then use that input — your CEO self-appraisal — to create the company’s annual plan (written) and your role in it. You set out business, professional, and personal goals that fold into your own performance.

It is not hard, can be time consuming and tedious, but it can also pay gigantic benefits. You have to have a plan to get anywhere.

Bottom line it, Big Red Car

You, the CEO, are the most important worker for the company and if you are not operating at your peak level of performance what can you expect from the company?

Do this.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.