Monday, December 30th, 2013


I lacked a certain kind of courage as an executive.
I didn’t want to fire or downsize or lay-off anyone who had worked closely with me, laughed with me, done projects with me, put up with me, been employed by me.
No one deserved to be surprised by a sudden end of employment unless they had been unethical or done something illegal.
That included someone not performing well or someone profoundly irritating.

I wanted to avoid the pain, so I had to have pain relievers.  These two 

pain preventers worked for me.  I did fire people but it was never a surprise and always a transparent process.  Here’s what kept me pain free.

1.  I never overstaffed my function.  I didn’t want to let anyone go because I
had allowed people creep to occur.  Doing too much with too little seemed to keep people happy—if they were recognized and got a break every once in a while.

2.  This is the most important one.  I mention it as we approach a new year.
DON’T BE BLIND TO THE IMPORTANCE OF A FORMAL (the tone can be informal but the doing has to have the importance of something formal) PERFORMANCE REVIEW AND DEVELOPMENT CONVERSATION.  Everybody kind of hates doing them.  Everyone kind of hates participating in one.  Do it.  Do it.  Do it.
At least twice a year.  

Under staff and over do performance conversations.
Two great pain relievers.


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