I've always hated annual reviews. That's not an encouraging start to giving advice, I know, but it's my reality, and unfortunately it's all too common. So why do so many of us loathe annual reviews?

For starters, they take too long. At all of my previous companies, we would spend at least three months on the process, from individual reviews to manager feedback to compensation and promotion approvals. The annual review conversation has also never been very useful outside of inducing anxiety at the end of the year; Due to its infrequency, the ups and downs of the year aren't accounted for, and we learn very little as managers and employees as a result. Topping it off, annual reviews have historically just been about performance, leaving a critical piece — employee engagement — unaddressed in the most influential evaluations throughout an employee's career.

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As a CEO, your time is a vital company resource. How you spend your workday — the meetings you're in, the initiatives you weigh in on, even where you are physically — influences how decisions are made.

I've long described decision-making as the defining factor of company culture because it determines how leaders lead and how teams collaborate, and every competitive advantage (or disadvantage) stems from these two factors. This means you set the tone for your entire culture, whether you realize it or not, just by how you spend your day. No pressure.

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Sometimes it's better not to raise money. I know this sounds strange coming from me. I'm an angel investor in over 50 startups, my Twitter is essentially a ticker for funding news and I've always been a huge proponent for going public, which requires a long road of investments along the way. But there are great reasons to turn down venture capital investment and bootstrap it yourself or take just a small amount of funding. This was the crux of my discussion the other day with a founder facing this big decision on whether to raise a seed round.

This founder's company is getting great customer traction within a niche of a skyrocketing industry that has some very powerful players. He's at a fork in the road. If he pursues funding, he'll likely be able to raise a round. But is it the right thing?

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