LIFE: Tough Review From My Boss

Review for Tom Griffen
October 19, 2013

Per our brief conversation last week I am writing this to formalize some of the things we spoke about. When I hired you I saw something unique and potentially beneficial to our organization – so I scooped you up with a quickness. Your initial enthusiasm and work ethic was tremendous but there seems to have been a change in both over time. I want to nip this in the bud and I trust (and hope) you do too. Mind you, this is not a focus on the negative, rather it is a balance of all you bring to the table. And though the impetus for writing this in the first place is your current state of questionable employability, it is meant to be constructive and a catalyst for necessary and immediate change. I can only offer you suggestions to reflect on. My job is to help you get better. I am confident that you can – but it’s mostly up to you to make it happen. So do it already!

What’s working:

1. You have an amazing ability to get a lot of high-quality work done in a short amount of time.
2. You have great organizational and planning skills.
3. You have a tremendous amount of mental strength and tenacity (I mean seriously, you seem to always be training for an ultramarathon – that’s not normal).
4. You are open-minded and willing to try new things.
5. You are detail-oriented and meticulous when analyzing processes and practices.
6. You generally put off a vibe that people respond positively to.
7. You respect deadlines and others’ time constraints.
8. Your output is important to you.
9. You are responsive to emails and phone calls.
10. You are well-groomed.

What’s NOT working and suggestions on what to do about it:

1. Time Management – you are wasting a lot of time doing unnecessary things, especially internet-related (Facebook, YouTube, email, blogs, other stupid stuff, REPEAT) and then banking on your uncanny ability to get a lot done in a small window. This is not necessarily a bad thing except you are essentially completing the bare minimum and not really immersing yourself into this fertile educational environment. You’ve invested a lot to be here yet you don’t seem to have ‘bought in’ yet. WHAT CAN YOU DO:

a. Choose a day/time during which you allow yourself free time. Hold yourself accountable to this schedule and do not allow deviation. You are the only person monitoring your schedule so you have to police it well.

b. Decide what you want to use your social media outlets for and lock it down. Maybe it’s to promote your yoga classes, or your blog, or your running exploits, or keeping up with family. Whatever. Give it a plan and make it valuable for that and that only. It’s a black hole just waiting for you to fall deeper into it. Be careful.

2. External Responsibilities – For whatever reason, you are compelled to add things in your life that make you busier but not necessarily happier. If practicing reflexology, teaching yoga, working a 2nd job, consulting, training for an ultra, etc. doesn’t increase your daily level of happiness then drop it and don’t look back. Doing less is NOT bad. Doing less is NOT a sign of laziness. Doing less, in your case, might allow your true passions to shine. WHAT CAN YOU DO:

a. Decide what’s important and trim the fat.

b. Have faith that personal success results from your innate drive to do things you enjoy – not things that you think you SHOULD be doing. Explore this idea and make some cuts. Only let the All Stars stay.

3. Attitude – You are obviously frustrated with something. It seems to be a lack of control of self, or time, or lack of willingness/motivation to really dive into your job. Maybe it’s a feeling of inadequacy? I’m not exactly sure but it definitely exists and it is negatively affecting your environment and the people who pass through it. WHAT CAN YOU DO:

a. Understand that you have nothing to prove. You’ve arrived at a place thanks to your hard work – and this is where you have a chance to get even better at what you already do well. No judgment, no grading, nothing to ‘fight for’ or compete against. This is a you and you situation that might make your life more fun. The rest of the folks who pass between are available (and more than willing) to help. I recommend you use them since you can – but never forget that you needn’t try so hard to prove anything to them. No offense but they aren’t paying that close attention to you anyhow. Hardline advice – get over yourself.

4. Movement – You’ve expressed that your daily happiness results from having spent some time with your moving body (ie. running, yoga, biking, walking) and yet you don’t have this magic pill carved into your day. WHAT YOU CAN DO:

a. Make it happen. Period. Please do not come into work without having accomplished this beforehand. If you do I will personally ask you to leave. If you can’t take care of yourself, you cannot expect the likes of us or anyone to do it for you. You are more than capable so get it done. I assure you this will be a deal-breaker if you chose to ignore it.

5. Stillness – You’ve also expressed how powerful meditation has been in your life and yet I never see you practicing stillness or quiet. Why? What are you afraid of? If it’s merely the result of your poor time management as of late then shame on you. That’s not a good excuse. WHAT YOU CAN DO:

a. Again, carve out the time and stick with it. Easy.

In sum:

The fact is I wouldn’t be taking the time to do such a detailed review if I didn’t believe you had it in you to pull yourself together. Life has a funny way of allowing our chosen paths even if they aren’t the wisest ones – so often our poor decisions are validated. Your awareness of your short-comings is a true gift to yourself. If somehow I have helped facilitate this gift then great. Take charge of what you want and put your passion behind it. Everything will work out just fine. No need to wallow in the “what if” because it’s completely irrelevant if you are being honest with yourself.

Moving forward:

The next review, unless situation deems it necessary, is scheduled for May 2014. This gives you the next 8ish months to dial these things in, set them to practice, and determine whether or not this job is the right place for you. It might not be, and hey, that’s OK. But if your behavior continues to make these topics a problematic issue, you will be asked to turn in your keys. At that point it will be too late for discussion and, at the very least, you’ll have an idea about why you’re still floundering (which, I suppose, is also a good thing still).

Let’s make this happen, Tom. Please let me know how I can help you get rolling.

Signed on this date, October 19, 2013:



One thought on “LIFE: Tough Review From My Boss

  1. Ha!
    I began reading this and thought, “wow, this is so familiar!” Review, probation, review, probation…I think the exact words in my head were; “my boss is cool, but he’s such a hardass.”
    I think I grew so much in those (3 was it?) probationary periods that I have stretch marks on my soul.
    I have continued to grow, and have not found a boss as lovingly forward and demanding of excellence. This post reminds me who my ultimate boss is.
    And amen to the bits about needing movement/stillness and connecting the mind/body/soul.
    Cheers friend, for hitting the nail on the head, reminding us of simple truths, and living yours.


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