Fire the Deserving

Fire the Deserving

Firing someone is the most difficult task in running a business. Not everyone is cut out for this because it can go against many people’s natural instincts. However, as unpleasant as it may be, if you want to be a boss and ensure the best for your company, then it’s a skill you must master.

There may be times when you need to fire friends or family members who are your partners or employees. Firing someone in general is difficult—firing someone close to you is even harder. But if they do not follow the letter of your written and verbal agreements, and they have been provided ample, direct warnings, then they have to go, or you, too, are being negligent.

If someone is dragging down your otherwise effective team, then it’s like a hole in a dam. If your competitor applies the same amount of money as you do to an employee who is better than yours, then this will nip at your market position. Of course, you need to work with people who you trust. But can you also trust them to protect and enhance your market position?

Managers and employees should be judged on their results alone. Being a hard-working, nice, well-intentioned, and well-qualified person or friend to the boss should never negate the importance of the financial outcome of that person’s presence in the company.

Cronyism and nepotism are not profitable. You can’t let nice guys and gals who are your buddies or relatives negatively affect the otherwise positive flow of the organization, its morale, or its operational results. Even if their weaknesses can legitimately be construed as honest mistakes, it just doesn’t matter. If they are not benefiting the company financially, they will ultimately have to go—the sooner the better.

From a self-preservation perspective and despite your affection for most of the characteristics of this individual who you ostensibly “like,” the most important characteristic of a business always overrides anything else—profit. Profit for a company is equivalent to the oxygen mammals need in their evolutionary pursuit. If you are not acting in an evolutionary way by weeding out weak characteristics, you are not optimizing your business, and your competitors will eat away at your profit margin until you fail.

You don’t need a traditional pyramid-shaped organizational chart for your company to succeed. Instead, you might be able to do much of your human resources scaling plan through independent contractors, or even friends, family, and former coworkers. You could even hire a delicate, cost-effective balance of telecommuters, employees, and contractors. Either way, the goal is to get scale and instill efficiency throughout your organization to give you a leveraged market position.

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