In this last article in a series that has explored a number of dimensions of leadership, we'll focus on ways to further develop leaders in your organization by helping your people map their career success.In public accounting and technology, we spend a lot of time producing annual performance appraisals. In these appraisals, we are essentially looking in the rearview mirror to assess what our people have done in the past, and then sharing our thoughts about their accomplishments and areas for improvement. Because most of us are adverse to conflict, the performance appraisal process is perfunctory, and all but the most egregious offenders against firm policy receive at least a "meets requirements" rating on the appraisal itself.

To develop leaders in your practice, I would like to suggest that you consider shifting your labor-intensive, often-ineffective performance appraisal process and adapting a new way of developing your staff. This new way would include making a commitment to acknowledge all staff accomplishments, "good behavior" and "bad behavior" in the moment - when it occurs - and not store it up (or even worse, blow it off) for the magical moment when your firm's performance appraisal will give you the time, insight and courage to share it.

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