As I mentioned yesterday on the blog, it’s performance review season here at SEOmoz, and since transparency is a core value for us, I’d like to share my personal performance review and the grades/feedback given by Sarah (at least, most of it) publicly here on the blog.
I’ll start with the scale we use:
And here are the specific items, along with my evaluation, followed by Sarah’s. I apologize for having to redact some material, but even at a company as transparent as we are, some things need to be kept private, mostly in the interest of empathy and occasionally for product development/press/not-spoiling-the-surprise reasons.
Rand: I’ve been trying to attend lots of events with Mozzers (thanks to a less-crazy-than-usual travel schedule), bring a more positive attitude to the office, and see folks outside of work, too. I don’t feel like I’ve contributed to team happiness nearly as much as Leah/Hillari/Sarah and other team members who’ve done such an amazing job here. That said, I’m buoyed by the work they’ve done and haven’t felt as much need or pull to get involved, which is awesome. Meets Expectations
Sarah: I think this is an area you have really improved compared to last fall especially. Since last summer, when the <redacted> started degrading and getting more expensive, and the <redacted> deal fell through, you went through a pretty dark period. You used the word ‘failure’ a lot. I don’t think that was transparent or authentic because business wasn’t failing and you weren’t a failure. <redacted> wasn’t the right deal. Your team speeches were not as inspiring. You underestimated yourself and your achievements, and by extenions the company’s achievements. You had a lot of anxiety about going out for a round of funding. Since sealing the deal with Brad, your optimism and confidence has made you a more visionary leader, more inspirational. That really picks up the mood of the team. You’re also going to more beer nights and doing more 1:1s than ever before. You’re contributing to even more jokey allstaff emails. You’re also consistently in a positive mood in the office. Exceeds Expectations
Rand: I’m worried that my work quality, particularly in evangelism and external reach is suffering, but I’m proud of some of the big deal work – acquisitions & financing, for example. My contributions to the industry are less personally substantive as I try to scale my role and help others (Dr. Pete, Dr. Peters, Ruth, Jen, Joanna, even Phil’s thinking about starting a blog! become evangelists and thought leaders. I want to return to regular blogging as I think it will help this, but I’m also scared because my email is always so full and so hard to get through. It often takes multiple weekends of 8hr+ days/nights just to get back to inbox 0, and I don’t think I’m always contributing with the quality that my communication deserves. Need to work on this. Meets Expectations
Sarah: Why only an ME? You’re still doing outreach, you closed a great round with a great investor, and you brought on a new and exciting company… All within a couple months! Also, your internal evangelism has improved and I think that is a large part of what has increased company morale. It’s been great having you here to do 1:1s etc. This is the least amount of travel you have done in years, and I think it’s been great for your team. We’re growing so quickly that it’s great to have your influence and vision in the office. I think it’s really helped to ground Anthony and his team. I can’t imagine trying to help with that transition without you physically present. Exceeds Expectations
Rand: I want to become more technical and I really want to have more experience and connections with folks who’ve scaled larger teams so I can help us through our growth period. Team organization is an area where I feel like a total rookie. Thinking about going public or about the SecondMarket folks who’ve reached out or any of that “growth-stage” startup stuff is making me feel out of my depth. I’m also a little nervous that I’m losing some of my SEO skills. I had to research hreflang the other day only to find it’s a protocol I clearly should have been familiar with.
Sarah: I think you’re outstanding brand guy and marketing guy. I think your product chops have improved substantially. You exceed expectations there. You have a knowledge gap on operating a large international organization, prepping to go public, and then going public. I also think you have an opportunity to learn more about individual coaching and team dynamics.