Assessing the performance of senior management and training them to display thought leadership is a valuable tool to help a company reach its true potential. But surely leaders, especially those at the very top, are capable of doing this themselves, including carrying out self assessments? These are the very best people who have huge responsibility so it makes sense they would be about to carry out this important task without external assistance, right? It is tempting to think so, but in fact it is a huge mistake.
Independent Assessment Is Critically Important
No matter how great a leader is, or how impressive their ability to view any situation impartially is, the fact is that it is impossible for them to view themselves with an entirely unbiased eye. In fact one of the characteristics that make great leaders is their ability to be positive and not let anything get in the way of success. But the flip side of this is that they are not the right people to be making critical assessments of their own performance. The only way to be sure that the assessments you are getting are valid is to go with outside professionals who make this their business.
Reducing Pressure And Internal Division
By using an outside professional to conduct assessments and perform management training you eliminate the possibility of tension arising within your organization when members of your team are assessing each other. It's much easier to take criticism when it comes from an outside organization that is clearly working for everyone's benefit.
Reducing Bias And Variability
A big issue with self assessment is bias and variability. Even with the best of intentions, it's very difficult to be consistent when assessing oneself. Another problem with internal assessment and training is ensuring the methodology used is consistent and reproducible. Outside organizations who specialize in this use techniques that are proven over time in many different situations and company sectors, making them much more reliable.
Knowledge Is Power
Of course it's possible to do both, with an element of self assessment followed up by a proper external procedure. In fact part of that method likely requires the company employee or management executive to self-reflect. By using an outside expert, you bring a bigger knowledge base to the problem, which is self-evidently a good thing.
With any other area of operations you would not think twice about using the best expertise available, so be sure to do so when it comes to management performance assessment as well. That's the key to getting the most valid and useful results.