Letting an employee go, no matter what the reason, is never an enjoyable task. The truth is – and leaders should never say this to someone who is losing his or her job – that it’s tough on the boss. This is one of the heaviest burdens a leader has to shoulder.
Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead. That old saying predates YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter: Today, two can keep a secret if one is dead, and the other hasn’t been caught on a Smartphone video.
Seventy per cent of Americans are disengaged from their jobs to one degree or another. While some just run on autopilot, others are “actively disengaged” and undermine their companies with their attitudes. Dealing with these employees is a problem for every CEO – but what if the CEO hates his or her job, too?
Years ago, when I was working for a CEO, I made a dumb mistake. No excuses; it was just stupid. Most mistakes are. The CEO pulled me into his office and sat me down. He didn’t yell; he didn’t threaten to fire me or cut my pay. Instead, he told me how disappointed he was […]
Unpopular decisions: Marissa Mayer comes to mind instantly. Yahoo’s CEO made the choice to end telecommuting; she wanted her people under one roof. Mayer was criticized for being a woman – a pregnant woman, at the time – that disallowed a mode of work that let parents be home with their children. “Unpopular” doesn’t seem […]
In my 38 years of experience, I have been sued by disgruntled ex-employees more times than I can count. Usually, it was for some kind of “wrongful termination” or some other similar reason. And I can say that in each case, the suit was bogus. We live in a litigious society, and business is just […]
Any good police officer will tell you that criminals identify easy targets. No self-respecting gang member, rapist, or thief will attack someone who appears to be confident, self-assured, and looks like they can take care of themselves. Why risk it? Instead, they will scan for people who look timid, weak, scared, or unable to defend […]
We all talk about holding people accountable…but what does that mean? Do we fire someone when they screw up? Do we put our employees on probation whenever they make a mistake? Not likely… What Is Accountability? Holding people accountable is one of the toughest things CEOs have to do. The reason is that few of us understand […]
When faced with tough times, the first thing most CEOs do is to cut costs. Well, it doesn’t take a genius to do that. In fact, I can take a monkey in a red jacket, hand him a banana and a copy of my budget, and he will randomly select line items to cut. Most […]
Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. But in business, insanity goes a step further. In business, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, and then making it a standard operating procedure for everyone to follow. One of the easiest […]
Outbreak In 1878, an outbreak of yellow fever occurred in the city of New Orleans. It quickly spread through the city and proved itself to be very deadly. Soon afterward, it began to spread up the Mississippi River basin toward the city of Memphis. In those days, no one knew what caused yellow fever (it […]
Most of us know that Babe Ruth is famous for his home run record, but for decades he was more than “The Home Run King.” He was also “The Strike-Out King.” Although he hit 714 home runs, he also struck out 1,330 times in his career. He explained this by saying that “Every strike brings […]
Hope springs eternal We all hope we can take our incompetent employees and somehow make them competent. We put them on 90-day plans, give them additional training, and coach them. But in the end, we usually find ourselves terminating them. That’s because there is no such thing as a spontaneous recovery from incompetence. If they are […]
Years ago, I worked for a company that had a problem with tardiness. People were always coming in late. It was a really big problem. So management got together and came up with the solution: Going forward, only three incidents of tardiness would be tolerated each year for an employee. On the fourth incident, they […]