Savannah Guthrie’s performance review: why she deserves a break


How would you feel if your first performance review in your new job was printed on the front page of a newspaper or blasted across the Internet? Whether the review was good or bad, it would be pretty gut-wrenching to have the results made public before you even had a chance to gain confidence in the job.

So I have to wonder what would it be like to be Savannah Guthrie, who officially replaced Ann Curry as Matt Lauer's co-host on The Today Show. Less than a week into the job, the headline of USA Today read: Ratings: 'GMA' trounces 'Today' with Savannah Guthrie. ABC's rival Good Morning America has beaten The Today Show in each of the three days since Guthrie officially replaced Ann Curry as Matt Lauer's co-host.

Plenty of us have stepped into positions in the workplace where the odds were stacked against us. In Guthrie's case, viewers may tune out because they're ticked off at the way the Ann Curry exit went down. Guthrie seems to be handling this public scrutiny with class. She even admitted to being nervous her first today in the co-anchor seat.

Executive producer Jim Bell vowed NBC will be patient: "We couldn't be happier with the new Today anchor team, and the fresh new feel of the show," he said in a statement. "It's impossible to draw conclusions after a few days of unofficial ratings.  We just made a big change that we didn't take lightly, and we are in this for the long-run."

Reading this article, I thought of my first performance review. Six weeks into my first job, my editor suggested I leave journalism. Fortunately, I believed in myself regardless of what he had to say. From what I've seen, performance reviews are almost always painful experiences for those giving and receiving them. In Guthrie's case, millions of viewers are giving the peformance review.   

In business, most of us look for lucky breaks, do our best, and stay confident in our abilities. We want more than three days to prove ourselves on the job. We want more than three months to prove ourselves on the job. I plan to tune in and give Guthrie a chance.

Have you ever been the person to step into a new job at an awkward time? Have you ever been judged in a job without really being given a chance? How did you handle it?

The Work/Life Balancing Act

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