The mirror can only reflect what is in front of it.
It is for me to decide what to do about it


Performance Appraisals are things that are done in organizations and most people don’t like them. Except the winners, that is. Winners like to ‘show off.’ I mean that in a positive sense. They like to show what they have done. They like to beat previous records. They like to set their own records and take pride in them. Performance Appraisals are the flags that show their record. So write your own performance appraisal.

I recall my first appraisal which my boss, Nick Adams, wrote for me in Guyana in 1980. I still have it, thirty years later. He gave me the blank form and said, ‘Yawar, you know what you did better than I do. So write this appraisal and bring it to me and we’ll talk about it.’ I spent a couple of sleepless nights over it trying to be fair with myself. When I took it to him, we spent a couple of hours going meticulously over it, point by point.

He agreed with most of what I had written. In three cases, he upgraded what I wrote – ‘You should give yourself the credit that you deserve,’ he said to me.  He reminded me of two incidents that I had forgotten which showed me that he had not given me the form to fill because he couldn’t remember what I had done. That was his way of teaching me as well as of letting me take credit for my work. Then he signed it. The five years that I worked for him, I would look forward to appraisal time.

I have my own three-sixty-degree appraisal done by Potentia which specializes in it and see it as my greatest testimonial – faults and all – because it demonstrates commitment to quality and my own development.