Make the Call about Team Members

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Hiring, Leading
Reading time: 1

We can waste a lot of our leadership energy worrying or complaining about and then trying to fix the flaws in our team members. As we and they dance around our uncertainty, the whole company suffers.

So let’s make the call. Either we believe they can do it and we support them to get there or we believe they can’t and support them to find a better place. And if we aren’t sure, then let’s give ourselves a deadline for making the call.

All will be better off when we make the call.


In your corner,


PS: As you can see, we can make calls like this in line with our values and with full transparency & care. Or we can be jerks about it. Let’s not be jerks.

PPS: Here’s a magic trick you can use especially for people who you think are close but not quite there. Try believing they can do it even if evidence doesn’t yet support the idea. Make this call and watch them bloom.


Today’s photo courtesy of Alexas_Fotos.


Hiring Well: It’s Not About Skills Or Experience

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Hiring
Reading time: 1

Hiring candidates who have the skills and experience we need can be very risky. In the end, it doesn’t matter if they are provably good at budgeting, sales, project management, training, coding, operations, marketing, or any other skill.

To see why, consider the main reasons we have for firing people. They don’t care. They don’t understand and manage themselves. They don’t understand what is important to others. They lie. They are not confident; they may be cocky. They go for lose-win, win-lose, or lose-lose. They are defensive. They don’t listen. They damage other people’s work and attitude. They hate, distrust, manipulate, and/or bully. In short, they have a poor attitude.

If we hire people for their skills, experience, or interviewing prowess, and ignore their attitude, we should not be surprised when we have to fire (some of) them for poor attitude.


In your corner,


PS: When we take into account the huge costs of hiring, firing, and replacing people with the wrong attitude, it’s far cheaper to hire based on attitude and train for any missing skills.


Today’s photo credit: George Kelly cc

fork in the road ahead

How To Know When To Fire Someone

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Hiring, Leading
Reading time: 2 min.

Firing someone is one of the most difficult things we can do at work. To avoid the discomfort, we may put off firing someone who really should go. We may instead help that person get better, hope they get better or (yikes!)  just tolerate.

It’s time to fire someone when

  • You and they both understand how we determine good performance in this job,
  • You and they both understand the gap between their current performance and that desired, good performance,
  • You coach, train, direct, and redirect them to close that gap,
  • They continue to fall short of the desired performance (see note below), and
  • You see (from their progress to date) that the further time it will likely take for them to close that gap is rather more expensive than firing and replacing them.

Yucky as it is, we must, at times, fire people or risk the ongoing harm to the work, the team, and the organization.


In your corner,


PS: Set a reasonable period of time, say, 3 months, for the person to demonstrate they have closed the gap.  This reasonable duration varies from organization to organization, jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and role to role.

PPS: When it is time to fire someone, do it with both an open heart and trusted legal guidance.

Today’s photo credit: Leo Reynolds via photopin cc


Posted 1 CommentPosted in Hiring
Reading time: 1

Most leaders have spent time wondering whether (and how much) to invest in someone or just to let then go.

When exploring whether to hire or fire someone, we ask, “Can this person fit or change to fit our organization?” Sometimes the better question to ask is, “Can we create an environment where this person can succeed?”

Some hints that we should be asking the latter: we have trouble filling the role, we have high turnover, our organization struggles by not having this role performed well, we often have to do the work of this role, people who have struggled in this role have done well elsewhere, or we show stubbornness regarding how people in this role should behave.

Sometimes our best investment is not in getting others to change but in evolving our organization to tap the talents and engage hearts of the people on the team.

In your corner,