Annual Review

[UPDATE Apr 19, 2005 (!) 2007 – Following my annual review it seems as if I was being extremely hard on myself. Given this fact and because grades are so subjective, I’ve decided to remove the grading system along with a couple of other edits here and there. iStudio would also like to say it’s extremely pleased with my progress and I’m a valued member of the team.]

It’s annual review season here in the FH family which may explain Dave‘s lack of postings recently. Although I’ve had a sneak peak into one topline finding, I’m not sure what we’re going to talk about. However now’s as good a time as any to take a look at my personal goals I shared back in July, see where we are and to think about the coming year.


Before I get started this is a long and truly self absorbed, but frank and honest, post. The value you get from this will vary.

July 2006 Goals

Here were the things I wanted to do in the 12 months from July 2006:

  1. Excellence in execution. To make everything I do as good as it can be
  2. To eradicate mistakes in my writing. It may surprise you to realize that my first drafts can be hit or miss. Lisa, you may want to jump in here!
  3. To add strategic value to all of my accounts and new business initiatives
  4. To improve my working knowledge of technology. Even back in the UK working on tech accounts, I’ve always had more of a big picture view of why to use software, as opposed to how. Now I need to get my head around producing podcasts and html programming
  5. Continue to be active in the social media network. This means I’ll be reading as much as possible, leaving comments, posting regularly and you may even hear me on some podcasts as well
  6. To conceive and implement two truly innovative ideas within 12 months
  7. To continue to show passion and commitment in all that I do

How I’m doing

Execution. I’d love to find a way to work without being continuously distraced and to focus without the pressure of deadlines coming up. Rushed work means my end product can be less than optimal and it frustrates me because I know I can do better…but I do know that things are on the up, especially in the last 2 months.

Mistakes…I feel as if I’ve gotten a lot better recently. I’m doing some email marketing which means I need to edit HTML code and it’s all about the details. First drafts are usually much better but I usually lose it in the editing phase – espcially with multiple editors. There are far fewer mistakes in my work but a few do still creep through to the iStudio editors (my boss etc).

Strategic value. I’m a big thinker so I don’t think this has been a problem. I know some of the content I create at/for iStudio and Fleishman-Hillard gets reused on both a national and international level which means I must be doing something right.

Technology. My HTML “skills” are coming along but I may need to do some sore of course to get to the level I’d like to be at. I’d also like to be able to work at a decent level in Photoshop… I just (re-)found this HTML tutorial site (via Joe Thornley) which will help.

Social Media network. Martin suggested I should rename the blog to Recruiting Me Recruiting You after the amount of (excellent) resumes I was sending his way. I’ve gotten quite a few job offers through this blog and even a couple of consulting offers, all of which I’ve had to turn down.

Innovative ideas. See strategic value – I’ve had some big ideas, some of which have been (in my estimation) really very cool. However they haven’t made it to the implementation phase…there’s always the next six months!

Passion. I’m extremely passionate about the things I’m passionate about but I do need to widen this lens.


Thinking about it, has kind of gotten me thinking about things I wish I could do better –

  • Confidence in meetings. I wish I could lead meetings better but I’m all to happy to take the easy way out and let someone else do the driving
  • Perspective. Sometimes I get blinkered on one POV and don’t look at things from another perspective.
  • Insight. Tony once told me that insight is like a muscle that get’s stronger the more you use it. I need some stretching exercises for mine right now
  • Writing. I wish I could bring the “quality” of my informal writing into more formal client work
  • Focus. See execution.

Finally, two sports ones that shouldn’t be too hard to read as metaphors for business.

  • Slam dunk. I’ve never played a competitive game of basketball and I’m only 5’11” and 175 lbs sopping wet, but I’d still like to be able slam. Looks like fun
  • Flair. On the football pitch I’m a grinder, a true defender. It’d be nice to have some skills to show off once in a while. Even if I did score goal of the season a few weeks ago (and have been telling everyone about it ever since)

So that’s me. What do you wish you could do? How does your performance match up to your goals?

Honesty and candour in the comments section please.


10 Responses to Annual Review

  1. Kathleen says:

    D- for execution is awefully low, are you sure you’re not being too harsh on yourself?
    Apparently that D should actually be a B…

    I love doing this kind of self improvement exercise, although I always have to remind myself to look forward at what I can improve, not backwards at what I could have done differently…. which brings me to my first area of improvement.

    perfectionism – I can appreciate that it helps me to remember details, but I need to continue reminding myself to let go at a certain point. I just spent two weeks worrying about my blog name! (I went with Mixed Media btw and it should be up and running later this week).
    French grammar – I need to make more of an effort to write and say things properly, not just comprehensibly, when I use French.
    technology – I’m going to follow your lead here and admit that I could also use a brush up of my technological skills. I was doing well awhile back when I held a volunteer position as a newspaper’s web editor, but since leaving that position I’ve not put enough time into this important area.

    Let’s not look at my sports one as a metaphor.

    assertiveness – I’m never going to be a very good tennis player if I don’t become more assertive on the court! I just started last summer so I could chose any number of things to work on… but this one requires more of a mental change than the other things which continue to improve with practice.

  2. Marc Snyder says:

    I’ve gotten quite a few job offers through this blog and even a couple of consulting offers, all of which I’ve had to turn down, so…

    Why? Not the jobs, the consulting offers. Trust me, if you bring in a few consulting gigs, FH will look at that verrrryyyy favorably.

    If you want, I’ll be happy to get those off your hands 😉

  3. Ed Lee says:

    Just to clarify, the consulting offers would’ve put me in direct competition with FH/iStudio, even though the fees weren’t high enough to warrant them getting involved.

    Potential clients for FH/iStudio are always welcome!


  4. Marc Snyder says:

    Just to clarify, I had understood that. My point was twofold:
    – if possible, turning those into clients would have made your boss smile;
    – if that isn’t possible, turning them into my clients would have made ME smile 😉

  5. Tony says:

    Did I say that about insight? 🙂

  6. Ed Lee says:

    Marc – that’s what I was trying to do in the first place…


  7. […] think Ed Lee hit the nail when he recently blogged about the Annual Review keeping the FH Bloggers from, well blogging.  […]

  8. wow – kudos for your transparency, not sure i get this level of feedback from the people i manage!

    Glad to see it’s all going well…

  9. Kathleen says:

    Your update is good news, good news coming from back in time (2005?)!

  10. David Jones says:

    You may want to have another proofread.

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