July 17, 2014

The Gift of Feedback, Part IV

The Gift of Feedback, Part IV I wrote a few weeks ago about my live 360 – the first time I’ve ever been in the room for my own review discussion.  I now have a development plan drafted coming out of the session, and having cycled it through the contributors to the review, I’m ready to go with it.  As I did in 2008, 2009, and 2011, I’m posting it here publicly.  This time around, there are three development items: Continue to spend enough time in-market.  In particular, look for opportunities to spend more time with direct clients.  There was a lot of discussion about this at my review.  One director suggested I should spend at least 20% of my time in-market, thinking I was spending less than that.  We track my time to the minute each quarter, and I spend roughly 1/3 of my time in-market.  The problem is the definition of in-market.  We have a lot of large partners (ESPs, ISPs, etc.) with whom I spend a lot of time at senior levels.  Where I spend very little time is with direct clients, either as prospects or as existing clients.  Even though, given our ASP, there isn’t as […]


April 5, 2012

Scaling Me

Scaling Me Two things have come up over the last couple years for me that are frustrations for me as a CEO of a high growth company.  These are both people related — an area that’s always been the cornerstone of my leadership patterns.  That probably makes them even more frustrating. Frustration 1:  Not knowing if I can completely trust the feedback I get from deep in the organization.  I’ve always relied on direct interactions with junior staff and personal observation and data collection in order to get a feel for what’s going on.  But a couple times lately, people […]


December 20, 2011

Transparency Rules

Transparency Rules I think each and every one of our 13 core values at Return Path is important to our culture and to our success.  And I generally don’t rank them.  But if I did, People First is a leading contender to be at the top of the list. The other leading contender would be this last one in the series: We believe in being transparent and direct The big Inc. Magazine story about us last year talked a lot about our commitment to transparency and some of the challenges that come with being transparent and direct with people. I’d like […]


May 5, 2011

The Gift of Feedback, Part III

The Gift of Feedback, Part III I’ve written about our 360 Review process at Return Path a few times in the past: overall process process for my review in particular update on a process change and unintended consequences of that process change) learnings from this year’s process about my staff And the last two times around, I’ve also posted the output of my own review publicly here in the form of my development plan: Here in 2008 Here in 2009 So here we are again.  I have my new development plan all spruced up and ready to go.  Many thanks […]


March 5, 2008

The Gift of Feedback

The Gift of Feedback My colleague Anita Absey always says that “feedback is a gift.”  I’ve written in the past about our extensive 360 review process at Return Path, and also about how I handle my review and bring the Board in on it.  But this past week, I finished delivering all of our senior staff 360 reviews, and I received the write-up and analysis of my own review.  And once again, I have to say, the process is incredibly valuable.  For the first time in a long time this year, I got a resounding “much improved” on all of […]