In my personal experience, effective evaluation is one of the more challenging elements of organizational dynamics and ethos.
In the particular non-profit that I’ve served within for the last 13+ years, I would say that evaluation is one of our major weaknesses.
When I previously worked in college education, evaluation and review was commonplace, but it was questionable as to whether the right things were being evaluated in the right ways, and whether the evaluations led to any meaningful improvements.
Two dominant threads in Embracing Followership are relationship (with one’s peers and superiors) and personal growth. Followership is meaningless outside of some sense of interactive dynamic with others. And, there can be no pursuit of excellence without engaging in a process of self-awareness and personal development.
We have previously developed two resources to enhance personal reflection and self-awareness: the Followership Self-Evaluation and the Leadership Self-Evaluation. To give the fullest sense of the current dynamic, we want to further place our own followership growth in the context of the relationship with our leader.
Leader’s Evaluation of Followership (free PDF) is an opportunity for a leader to consider the engagement, challenges, and perspective evidenced in the work of one of their subordinates.
There are no 1-5 scales, no quantitative metrics; rather, all the questions are aimed at considering this particular follower, in the specific context of the organization and interaction with his/her leader.
At the same time, this evaluation considers opportunities the leader might have for supporting a follower in their ongoing growth, or reflecting on the way he/she has responded to previous offers of your support to navigate the obstacles encountered in seeking to follow well. As such, it takes the leader’s self-evaluation and puts it in the context of the follower’s present engagement.
In this era of the popularity of 360-evaluations, it’s important that we as followers seek input from others as we pursue professional development, just as much as any leader or executive might engage in a rigorous process of soliciting feedback.
(To that end: I have yet to produce a peer’s evaluation of followership; if you’d be interested in this resource, leave a comment below or connect via social media and let me know!)
For those of you that are leaders, your role of resourcing and facilitating excellent followership should absolutely include insightful feedback communicated via a helpful platform in the context of real relationship with the aim of growth and development—for the benefit of the follower, of your working dynamic, and towards achieving the aims of your group or organization.
In addition to exploring content from many of the chapters of Embracing Followership—Misconceptions (Chaps 2 & 4), Obligations (Chap 5), Contributions (Chap 6), Ownership (Chap 7), Challenges (Chaps 8-10)—Leader’s Evaluation of Followership is also a perfect accompaniment to the Discussion Guide for Teams & Small Groups, especially Study 12 which explores the topic of Affiliation.
I challenge all of us to pursue growth during 2020, and to solicit others’ help in that journey, making use of whatever resources might help to surface the topics and conversations that will facilitate your ongoing journey into embracing excellent followership.
Be sure to check out the other free resources available from our Downloads page:
Free Sample Study (Study 8: “Honor Thy Colaborer”, with Facilitator’s Notes)
For encouragement and guidance in understanding and applying yourself to following and leading with excellence and helping others to do the same, see:
Embracing Followership: How to Thrive in a Leader-Centric Culture (by Allen Hamlin Jr; Feb 2016), and A Discussion Guide for Teams & Small Groups (Dec 2017).