Last year, I devoted many articles on this blog to discussing the merits of intermittent performance reviews for companies because after years of being a top player in the corporate world, I realised that, just as in many other aspects of life, a problem is easier and better solved when discovered early. Once a budget and target has been set at the beginning of the business year, it is the duty of the CEO and his/her management team to keep a constant eye on performance so as to know when to take calculated actions. Sometimes the reports are so good that the target and budget are revised upward and maybe new products/services are set up and market presence is diversified. Sometimes though, there may be a need for a few cut backs and redirection of resources.

From random organisational polls conducted, we have since seen that the more thorough and regular the business performance reviews, the less likely the chances of unexpected and unchecked losses. Many organisations that are doing very well have given this simple practice as one of the tools that have helped to sustain their yearly success. As a young organisation, conducting a mid-year performance review is essential, especially in an economy whose indices are constantly shifting. It serves as a critical checkpoint to assess the company’s current state, identify issues, and implement corrective actions.

This month of June, if you are yet to hold your mid-year performance evaluation meeting, here are a few well-known tips on how you should prepare:

  1. Gather Data from all the relevant departments /agencies in your organisation:

Financial Reports: Review income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.

Sales Metrics: Analyze sales performance, customer acquisition, and retention rates.

Operational Data: Assess productivity, efficiency, and process effectiveness.

Employee Feedback: Collect feedback through surveys or one-on-one interviews.

These reports should hit the table of the CEO at least a week before the performance evaluation meeting. Heads of units should collate, authenticate and submit these reports so that they too can be accountable for their units’ performances.

  1. Set Clear Objectives:

Define what you aim to achieve with the review. It could just be to boost the morale of the staff by showing that they are on track. It could be, as stated above, that the organisation needs to change strategies or review areas of high spending. The CEO has to be clear on what he hopes to achieve with the meeting and that comes after meticulous personal review of the reports on his table.

  1. Create an Agenda:

Outline key topics to be discussed, including financial performance, operational issues, market conditions, and employee concerns. The CEO can delegate any part of this to any of the department heads.

Below is an example of a merged agenda of an evaluation performance meeting of three companies.

The CEO can adjust to suit his/her organisational needs.

a. Opening Remarks:

Provide an overview of the company’s current situation.

Acknowledge challenges and express commitment to addressing them.

b. Financial Performance Review:

Review the presented financial data, highlighting areas of concern such as declining revenues, increasing costs, or cash flow issues. Encourage contributions from your team. If there is any audit previously done, here is a good point to discuss it too.

Compare actual performance against budgeted projections.

Always discuss the performance of different departments and their contribution to overall goals.

c. Operational Performance:

Evaluate key operational metrics, identifying bottlenecks or inefficiencies. Pinpoint the exact reasons for these problems as a quick way to getting a solution.

d. Market Analysis:

Analyze market conditions, competitive landscape and industry trends.

Identify external factors impacting the company’s performance.

e. Employee Performance and Morale:

Review employee performance metrics and feedback.

Address any issues related to workplace morale, engagement, and productivity.

f. Pending/ongoing Strategic Initiatives:

Assess the progress of ongoing or/and pending strategic initiatives.

Determine if any strategic pivots are necessary based on current performance.

When all the reports have been tabled and all the heads of departments have made their input, it is the responsibility of the CEO to provide a way forward utilizing the contributions of the staff.

Below are fundamental areas that an entrepreneur might need to address following an evaluation meeting.

a. Acknowledge and Own the Problems:

The CEO must make it obvious that indeed the buck stops on his/her desk. Be open and acknowledge the problems the organisation is facing and why. Sometimes, entrepreneurs hold company pains to their chest and end up distancing the workforce. Honesty builds trust and demonstrates leadership.

b. Ascertain that Goals are Realistic and Measurable:

If the goals were too far-fetched, it is time to adjust them.

c. Develop a Turnaround Plan:

If the organisation is in trouble, give a blue-print on a turnaround plan. Remember, you had weeks to figure this out.

  • Financial Restructuring: Explore cost-cutting measures, renegotiate debt, or seek additional funding.
  • Operational Improvements: Streamline processes, adopt new technologies, or restructure teams to improve efficiency.
  • Market Strategy: Adjust pricing, launch new products, or explore new markets to boost sales.

d. Enhance Internal Communication:

Encourage easy communication channels within the organization.

Keep employees informed about changes and involve them in problem-solving.

e. Commit to Employee Development:

Provide training and development opportunities to enhance skills and boost morale among your staff. Where CEOs feel vulnerable, they can sign a work pact with trained employees.

Recognize and reward top performers to motivate the workforce.

f. Monitor Progress Closely:

Establish a proactive system for tracking the implementation of the turnaround plan.

Schedule regular check-ins to review progress and make necessary adjustments.

g. Seek External Advice:

Consider hiring consultants or advisors with expertise in turnaround situations. This is usually cost-effective and should be implemented when totally necessary.

Liaise with other industry leaders for more insights.

h. Improve Customer Relationships:

Gather customer feedback to identify areas for improvement.

A mid-year performance review is a crucial opportunity to reassess, realign, and reinvigorate the organization. By thoroughly preparing, structuring the review effectively, and implementing a strategic plan, CEOs can navigate their companies through tough times and maintain existing success. Leadership is all about taking charge and inspiring confidence and loyalty in others.

So long!


Fatherhood with Ibe


I saw this article in a group chat and I thought about how applicable it is to everyone –men, women and even children. Sometimes, in order to show love, we render our children, spouses, siblings and even parents useless; we take up so much of everyone’s responsibilities that they get used to sitting down and stretching out their hands always, waiting for handouts. This story is about giving so much to others and totally neglecting your own self.


A few months ago, my friend had just crossed age 45.  Just about eight days later, she fell ill, and died in less than a week.

In our group, we received a condolence message that said;   “Sad, she is no longer with us.” RIP! That was the sum total of her labour – she had been but she no longer was. It was quite heartbreaking.

Two months later, pressured by thoughts of my late friend and the family she left behind, I called her husband on the phone. I had been thinking a lot about her family, wondering how they were dealing with her loss. I was sure that her husband must be totally swamped and devastated. He had a job that entailed a lot of travelling and until her death, my friend would oversee everything: upkeep of the home and education of their children. She was taking care of the aged in-laws, coping with their sicknesses and hospital visits, managing relatives, everything.

She never had time for any of the social activities we sometimes planned as a way of unwinding. She would say, “I will not have the time.” It was always ‘I need to clean my house or “pick my children”,” take care of my sick mother-in-law.” She always had to be somewhere or the other for her family. Her burden didn’t get less the few days her husband would be in town; she only added his needs to her already full to-do list. Once, she jokingly told me that her husband could not even make coffee or tea for himself.

“My family needs me for everything, but no one appreciates my efforts. I feel they all take me for granted.” She had lamented one day.

That day, I called her husband to see if the family needed any support, because I felt he must be feeling lost to suddenly have to handle all the responsibilities for everything: ageing parents, the children, his job, and sudden loneliness at this age.

His cell phone rang for some time. There was no response but after an hour he returned the call. He apologised that he could not answer my call, as he was playing tennis with friends at his club.

“You play tennis?” I asked. He said he makes sure he plays for an hour at least three times a week and that it was not just healthy but good for networking.  

I was dumbfounded. He didn’t sound like the lost widower that I had imagined.

“How about your work? How does your family cope when you travel?” I persisted.

He replied that he was no longer travelling because he took a transfer to a unit that made sure he stayed at home.

I wanted to know how he was coping with everything that my friend used to handle. He said he had employed a ‘very good cook, quite expensive but well worth it.’ He said he paid her a little more to act as housekeeper – buy groceries and provisions for the house and supervise the nanny and cleaner. He had appointed a full-time caretaker for his aged parents and moved them back to their own house.

“We are managing well, the kids are okay. Life is returning to normalcy,” he said in conclusion.

I barely managed to say a few sentences and ended the call.

Tears welled up in my eyes.

My friend had missed the school reunion because her  mother-in-law had a small ailment and needed her. She had missed her own niece’s wedding because she had to supervise a repair work in her house. She had missed so many fun parties and movies nights because her children had exams, she had to cook, and she had to take care of her husband’s needs.And for all these, she got no appreciation.

Today, I wish she was around to see how her family had moved on without her. I wish it was still possible to tell her to relax, to take care of her physiological and mental health.

No one is indispensable. Life goes on no matter what.

This is my message to those of us that are heading the same way as my friend:  do enjoy life. Remove the frame of mind that you are indispensable and without you, the house will suffer. No, your family will mourn and then they will move on.

Make time for yourself, create ME time.

Get in touch with your friends. Talk, laugh and make merry.

Do things that you love to do.

Don’t look for your happiness in others; you, too, deserve some happiness because if you are not happy, you cannot make others happy.

Everyone needs you, and you, too, need your care and love.

*** Need I say more? This piece was written by a woman as a clarion call for other women but same applies to everyone. In this month where fathers are celebrated world over, men, take care of yourselves. Don’t neglect your health needs, don’t neglect recreation. It is important to provide for our families but we need to be alive to do the job. Don’t just prioritise the accommodation, the rent, the tuition fees, Madam’s birthday, the children’s vacation needs, your parents, in-laws, siblings and every other thing that keeps you dashing out at the break of dawn and on your desk till late into the night.

Prioritise yourself from time to time. You are too important a piece in the chess to be neglected.