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Negative & Positive Reviews of My Performance as CEO

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016
Posted in Reviews by Joel Gross

One of the “perks” of being a CEO is that people review your performance… publicly. I think most people would feel embarrassed by public performance reviews even if they are positive. I am sure most people would feel quite frustrated if a negative performance review came to light, and probably be downright livid if false negative performance reviews existed out there. However, this is just one of the things that comes with the job. From the perspective of the economy as a whole, I think CEO’s and everyone else should have public performance reviews – it would be extremely helpful to know about people’s previous work before hiring them. It probably would also encourage people to behave better… right now a lot of people screw over their employers then just move on to the next employer who doesn’t know about what happened at the last one.

When I first started seeing these reviews pop up, I thought they were competitors trying to sabotage Coalition. A few of them probably were. Later, I thought they were a bitter ex writing them (which several are). However, I do think some of the reviews have some valid points. Many of the reviews have positive things to say and I do really appreciate those and try to continue to do the things that they mention. A few positive quotes I’ve seen that I am trying to continue are:

  • “I really liked Coalition Technologies educational approach to SEO. They are very transparent and provide great reports on the work that they are doing. The team there did a good job of getting me results and teaching my team and I best practices so we could help ourselves too. I highly recommend Coalition for people looking for search engine optimization.” – Customer on Yelp
  • “Excellent Work-Culture, Exceptional People, Best Salary in the Industry and Awesome growth opportunities.” –  Employee on Glassdoor
  • I worked with Joel and Jordan on getting my new website designed, built and optimized.  In our first meeting, they took the time to understand all of my needs and really went in depth through all my requirements . There was a bunch of factors I hadn’t even thought of until they brought it up!  After my site was built, they didn’t just leave me alone to try to figure out how to get traffic to come.  They did search optimization and were able to help it rank pretty high for my keywords and actually get me new customers!  I strongly recommend their service.” – Customer on Yelp
  • “They have cutting edge SEO training and tools, and the team members were all very close friends. I have never worked at a company with a culture where people are so closely knit together.” – Employee on Glassdoor
  • “My experience with this company has been nothing but phenomenal.  From my first interaction with their sales rep to working with the entire design team.  Everyone was very professional, supportive and courteous.  I particularly liked the fact that they did stakeholder interviews before starting work on the project to ensure they understood exactly what we wanted our site to be. ” – Customer on Yelp

However, I have also received my share of negative reviews. Some of the comments I think are true and are things that either should be worked on or are necessary for other reasons:

  • One of our early clients, Charlie Dog, criticized the work quality on some of their pages. The problem here is that the client had only paid for a few hours of work to develop their site, then months later after they had made mistakes on their site themselves they wanted free work from us. My mistake was not to make clear to this client from the start that they pay for all hours we work… not just a flat fee then maintenance forever.
  • Reporting tools are time consuming. I agree with this, I am trying to find ways for our clients and our management to get better reporting while requiring less entry time for our team members.
  • Micromanagement – this is definitely something I need to improve on. It’s a tough balance between giving people the space to be creative in their work and making sure that work is done right and on time for clients.
  • The culture and the team are amazing, but the CEO is a dick. Probably true… I have worked hard to hire every single team member we have and I know we have one of the best teams in our industry. My weakness is that I am not great at managing people’s feelings although I have improved greatly so far.
  • Give people more time during initial training. I would like to do this and have been able to do so more now that I have hired a more full team.
  • Provide feedback privately – I have made this mistake multiple times of cc’ing other people on feedback.