Throwback Thursday: Anything better would be too good

At her most recent performance review, this IT pilot fish gets a rating of 3 of a possible 5 -- "fully satisfactory."

"Not bad," says fish, "but I believe in continuous improvement, so I'm looking for input from my boss."

Fish's projects are on time and on budget. The users say they're happy with the quality of her work. Is there something else I'm not doing that you'd like me to begin doing? she asks her boss.

"No," says the boss, "I'm happy with your work. You are fully satisfactory."

OK, says fish. Should I be trying to bring projects in early, or under budget?

"No," boss repeats, "everything you're doing is fine."

Well, are there any changes at all I should make to improve my performance? fish asks.

"I can't tell you what your goals should be," boss says. "They're changing all the time."

Look, says fish, can you just tell me each time my goals change, so I know what to focus on?

"Absolutely not," boss says. "If I tell you what to focus on, you'll neglect everything else."

Then how am I supposed to get my rating better than 3 out of 5? says frustrated fish.

"You should be happy with your rating and forget about trying to do better," boss says. "Anyone who consistently performs higher than 'fully satisfactory' is probably in the wrong job."

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