Get Back:  A Performance Review

There are many of us who work in large organizations and with varied enthusiasm, thrive to improve our skills and contributions to the company’s overall success.  Once a year your boss will sit you down to assess your overall performance.  You will stay up late the night before trying to remember everything did that year, to ensure you are not subtracting from the company’s growth.  In the end you will receive an “Exceeds”. “Meets” or a “Below” expectations grade, depending on the mood of your manager that day. 

I have given and received many performance reviews over my long career, and that document often ends up in a file, never to be seen again… until next year’s performance review.  Managers smile with unbridled glee as all tick the box that performance reviews are completed.

Recently the Disney Channel broadcasted a brand new version of The Beatles “Let It Be” documentary from 1969.  With access to 50 hours of Tape,  Peter Jackson the Oscar winning director of Lord of the Rings, painfully upgraded the visual and audio quality of that film and released a 8 hour representation of the group of 4 employees spending  3 weeks together.  For non-Beatles fans, watching this might be considered the most boring 8 hours of your life, and for fans you will be riveted with every word spoken and every song performed.   Their ultimate goal was to perform new songs live for the first time in 3 years.  Allow me to use my last company’s Performance Review Template to assess the work of these fine young lads from Liverpool’s performance in 1969.

Goals Achieved:

The Beatles decided to write 14 new Songs, record them and perform those songs within a 3 week period, because they had other commitments after that in January 1969.  Songs like Let it Be, Get Back, Across the Universe, The Long and Winding Road and Don’t Let me Down, were all started and completed in the first month of that year.  Not a bad contribution of work to begin the year.

Assessment:  Exceeds Expectations

Problem Solving:

Many obstacles were overcome including, where to perform (spanning from Egypt at the pyramids, Mount Everest, on a cruise ship, ultimately on the Roof top of the Apple Records building), managing tight time restrictions, and ultimately honouring deadlines and people’s availability.   Gentlemen let me conclude that with equal input from each member you cleverly solved many problems along the way to .

Assessment:   Exceeds Expectations

Contribution to Sales

The Beatles original album Let it Be sold more than 5 million records.  The four of you are also the most successful band with record sales edging close to a billion records sold.  Let me suggest that your song writing and recording skill sets your little quartet far ahead of any employee currently working here.

Assessment:  Exceeds Expectations

Teamwork / Collaboration:

Having observed the four of you working together with the video footage from January let me make the following comments of your team work approach.  John and Paul your contributions to lyrics and music with each other’s material was an exceptional example of teamwork in the truest meaning of that word.  Ringo and George your ability to elevate the quality of those songs, and contributing your own material was teamwork in action.  With clearly defined roles and responsibilities i.e.  Guitar solos, piano contributions, and two or three part harmony within each song was even more stellar with the teamwork environment each of you continue to create to elevate the quality of your work.

Assessment:  Exceeds Expectations.

Customer Focus:

As I looked back on some of your previous performance reviews and contributions (Rubber Soul, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart Clubs Band, Revolver) it is very clear that you are creating work that the customer seems to enjoy.  I must declare that though your previous work has been exceptional, I may be slightly influenced by that work in my assessment of your current material.   However if previous customer response can predict future customer response I will take a risk on the expected reaction to your current work.

Assessment:  Exceeds Expectations

Presentation Skills

Finally in a performance review it is imperative that we review your performance.  Your decision to perform on the rooftop of your current place of employment was certainly questionable!  It was disruptive to your work colleagues in the area, and frankly irresponsible as a performance decision.  The problem is that the performance was flawless and that supercedes my earlier comments.  Showing flexibility by adding another non-employee (Billy Preston) to your final performance ever, shows risk taking that in retrospect seemed worth the risk.  Each of you smiled continuously at each other like you were truly enjoying this final presentation of your work.  It is rare that I use the word “Love” in a performance review, but your natural expressions of love for each other was remarkable.  I appreciate your brief 6 years of fame may have tainted your view on the brotherhood you shared, however that was not visible during your performance.  My desire to use Love as my assessment of your presentation is both unprofessional and unacceptable with our current performance template. 

Assessment:  Exceeds Expectations (LOVE)

Final Comments:

Thank you again for participating in our performance review.  As I contemplate your overall rating allow me to add a few more comments for this year’s performance review.  One observation was when John and Paul sang “Two of Us” to each other, it seemed like you were saying good bye to all of us, and I truly hope that I am wrong in my interpretation of that song.  I understand you are working on a new project called Abbey Road and I do look forward to our next performance review on that material.

Finally as we Come Together to finalize this year’s documentthere is Something I must share.  We needed HELP and did a 360 review With a Little Help from my Friends from other employees Here, There and Everywhere to obtain a more unbiased balanced review or your work.  If this seems unfair, We Can Work it Out later, but we’ll Let It Be for now.  So From Me to You, I could search Across the Universe for more input, but I feel more than confident in my final assessment of your work.  I can’t Wait to Get Back with you boys for next year’s review.

Final Performance Review Assessment


Cue the Blong: With last week’s recognition of Mental Health focus, this is my song to acknowledge that struggle… https://soundcloud.com/dennisford-1/keeping-it-real

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