Progress is rarely consistent or predictable. Anyone who has spent time at the gym, running, or brainstorming ideas knows that progress comes in bursts. So, it's interesting that in our metrics-driven world, progress is often assumed to be linear. While it's simpler to smooth out ebbs and flows, this can lead to misaligned expectations with consequences on people's livelihoods.
No one expects a stock price to monotonically increase. Implicitly, this acknowledges that a company's market cap won't always increase. So, if we know this is the case for companies, why don't we treat people the same way when we evaluate performance? After all, company are just groups of people working towards a common goal. People deserve patience and room to make mistakes in order to grow. But like investing, whether you're willing to make a bet is a judgment call.