This week I’ve been writing up annual performance reviews for my team. I’ve focused on fairly – and as objectively as possible – assessing how well each person did within the scope of his or her roles and responsibilities. Few professional jobs (at least those worth doing) are simple or straightforward in my opinion. And certainly, no one is perfect. So, I feel it’s important to remember that meeting objectives and achieving goals are often more “art” than “science.” There are nuances and curve-balls that must be taken into account. Ultimately, my desire in all of this is to teach about and inspire performance for the future betterment of the person and the organization.
All of this got me thinking….
Sunday is Father’s Day. (Dad, can you believe you’ve been a father for almost fifty-five years?) If I were to appraise my dad’s performance as a father, how would he measure up? Could I offer constructive feedback that might be motivational? (Could I even get away with trying?)
This is a challenge that I couldn’t pass up! To attempt this review, I got some help from askmen.com. I found an article on the “10 Traits of a Great Father.” So, listen up Dad, here’s the benchmark and my assessment – based on how you “fathered” me – of how you did on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “OMG, you are not qualified to be a father” to 5 being “You can teach others how to be fathers.”
Here goes… A great father:
- He Teaches His Children To Appreciate Things. What a good start! You get very high marks here, Dad. You definitely taught me to appreciate what I have. You score a 5.
- He’s Open-minded. Yikes. Not really. It’s always been your way or the highway. I gotta give you a 1 here.
- He Accepts that His Kids aren’t Exactly Like Him. Hmmm…tough one. It took you a long time to accept that I wasn’t exactly like you, but we’ve made our peace. Let’s split it and call it a 3.
- He Spends Quality Time With His Children. Definitely. I miss our Sunday horseback riding outings, trips to Friendly’s, and still love our long talks. You get a 5 here.
- He Leads By Example. For a long time you were more “do as I say and not what I do.” And some examples I’ve witnessed more recently should not to be emulated! That said, you worked for IBM and so did I. You were a synagogue president and so was I. Many examples you set were good ones. So, I’ll give you a 4 on this one.
- He’s Supportive And Loyal. Of me? Bar none. 5
- He Challenges His Kids. Oy. Did you ever! This wasn’t fun sometimes. But I cannot deny how you pushed me to be and do better. I gotta give you a 5.
- He Teaches His Kids Lessons. Def. In more ways than one!! Another 5.
- He Protects His Family, No Matter What. Duh. I still remember that guy you got into a fight with. How can I not give you a 5 here?
- He Shows Unconditional Love. Sorry, but no. You show CONDITIONAL love… all on the condition we do what you think is right (though I didn’t suffer too badly doing it your way.) Sorry, but you need improvement here, Dad. You get a 2.
Dad, I’m happy to appraise you with an overall average score of 4. I’m proud of you. You more than “met requirements.” While you aren’t an expert on being a father, you certainly have skills and abilities worth aspiring to.
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This post is not about measuring performance. How can one put a number to the value of showing up day in and out; to loving and caring others with all one’s heart; to never abandoning those held dear; to believing in doing the right thing? How does one truly weigh the number of someone’s good deeds versus less than stellar ones? Who can truly judge another’s motivations or intents?
I’m writing in praise. My father is the best. I honor and respect him tremendously (even as I love to tease him). He always held his ground and did what he believed to be right. He stood up for what’s important. As a beneficiary of his love and support, there aren’t enough words to thank him. I wouldn’t be me without him. I love him with all my heart.
Dad, you’re a 10! Happy Father’s Day.