This article first appeared September 28, 2011.
It can be lonely at the top when it comes to performance reviews and as chief executive of a start-up you can find yourself isolated from your team when it comes to getting feedback on your performance.
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There are various ways to approach this.
You might conduct anonymous surveys once a year, getting employees to comment on your performance in a process that has become known as the 360 degree review.
Or you might get your board, mentors or advisers to give you a performance review, based on how the company is running and what they’ve seen of you running it.
But in most cases those are annual or semi-annual feedback sessions at best.
For an inexperienced start-up entrepreneur it is a good idea to get more regular feedback or coaching from staff members.
You can do this in one of two ways.
You might have a trusted staff member who you can confide in and who feels he/she can talk honestly about your performance without fear of retribution.
Alternatively you might want to build a culture where you sit down with a handful of your top people regularly – say every quarter—to discuss the company’s performance and your own.
Either way the advice coming from below should be candid. And it must be listened to.
Get it done – today!