Performance Behavior Pyramid

I was invited to speak to one of agriculture economist David Kohl's classes at Virginia Tech. Following the presentation, he noted that much of what I'd shared with his students paralleled a Performance Behavior Pyramid developed by David Johnson. Johnson, from Silver Butte Timber Co. and C & D Lumber in Riddle, Ore., presented his model at an executive's roundtable earlier this year.

Kohl forwarded a copy of Johnson's Performance Behavior Pyramid.

It appears to be an excellent starting point for those who are struggling in their efforts to describe end results.

At the very base of the pyramid is a succinct and focused mission statement – an excellent starting point for setting expectations.

The next level is titled "Fundamental Personal Responsibilities: Independent." Everything contained in the level above this heading is the responsibility | of the employee, though some of the responsibilities can be aided by supervisors. Johnson identified and defined seven personal responsibilities, which are shown in the seven boxes that make up the pyramid's large base. The statements are brief, but they make requirements clear. The personal responsibilities and the behaviors that support them are:

Dependable. Work safely. Here every day. On time to work. Ready and prepared to work at start-up.

Physical Readiness. Drug and alcohol free. Mind is at work. Positive about your day.

Integrity. Aligned actions and values. Accountability. Keep your word. Ownership. Truth without judging.

Honesty. Choosing to be present. Deal with sensitive issue in the moment; 100 percent ownership of self. Balance of give and take.

Proactive. Assertive. Takes initiative. Taking steps to get what you want. Forward; action. No "wait and see"

Motivated; You give an honest effort. Give 100 percent every time. Doing your best no matter what the task.

: • Productive. Achieve the desired results consistently. See results daily. Have a positive impact on goals.

The next level is labeled "Personal Commitment to Learning: Independent." The three boxes, in the personal commitment level are:

Personal Growth: Self Assessment of your opportunities. Stretching and challenging yourself to learn. Setting personal goals and taking assertive action' toward them. Curious and asking questions.

Commitment to Learning. Making a personal commitment to learn. Making time for learning and growth.Focus and follow through' on learning goals. Follow-up and evaluation of learning goals, needs and success.

Flexibility to Advance. Focused and aware of the big picture and vision. Taking a supportive path to get to your learning needs. Changing scheduling or working odd,hours to learn. Making the small sacrifrices that lead to the larger rewards.

The next level is 'Working successfully with Others: Interdependent." The two boxes in this level focus on teamwork and communication skills.

Teamwork. Working with others for a win-win or no-deal solution. Supporting team goals. .Active participation in the team. Using resources for help. Creating synergy with others. Shared goals and shared rewards.

Communication. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Communicate nondefensively. Giving and receiving feedback openly, honestly, and in the moment. Clear written communication and comprehension. The ability to make a point specific and clear.

The top of the pyranud is "Impacting the Community: Interdependent." At the peak of the pyramid are those qualities and behaviors that make up "Leadership Skills." They are: Visionary. Facilitate empowering decisions with team buy-in. Support and motivate others to achieve desired results. Trustworthy in competence and in character.

For those struggling to create a description of what the results should be, Johnson's provides one model of how the desired results can be captured. Its true usefulness is that, beyond application in his company, the model can be modified to fit any organization's vision.

CAMILLE WRIGHT MILLER, Ph.D., is a consultant on workplace issues and problems for companies in Western Virginla. She can be reached at 981-3100, ext. 498, by e-mall at, by fax at 981-3346, or In care of The Roanoke Times Business News Department, P.O. Box 2491, Roanoke, Va. 24010. Please give your name and phone number in case she has questions.

Last updated 99/05/14
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