Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Leadership, fear and reality.

   Some situations seem truly, no win. Omega had a sales rep who, while hugely popular, had defied all instruction and was badly under performing. 

   Having answered the question, "Can this be fixed?" with a no, it was time to move on. But firing someone sucks in the best case. Dumping everyone's buddy was going to be doubly hard. Ugh.

   Summoning the requisite courage, the conference room got booked, and the firing happened. Strangely easier then expected. When the employee has been talked with enough beforehand, goodbye becomes a formality. 

   On to face the throngs with the news. With a heavy heart, I share news of the parting. "That took long enough.", one rep commented. Adding, "We thought they'd have been gone long ago." I'm stunned as heads begin nodding in agreement.

   What I had thought would be stunning news was already baked in as a foregone conclusion. In short, for not the first time, the staff were way ahead on the problem. Everyone was waiting for me to take action.

   The moral of the story? Most decisions I have faced running a business were on the staff's radar already. In fact, I think most knew before me that something needed to happen. The real problem was my own fear. Fear that I'd disrupt the harmory of things.

   In fact, there was no harmony. People were waiting for my decision. In leadership, the announcement of news is often received as"about time". Adjust your fears accordingly.

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