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Fire Someone Today

Fire Someone Today

Fire Someone Today sounds like a book of contrary advice for bosses. Surprisingly, it is a book full of down-to-earth, practical, and tested advice for leaders seeking to better their company and the lives of those who work for them. It is written in a conversational and helpful tone by Bob Pritchett, President and CEO of Logos Research Systems (makers of Bible Software).

Firing someone is never easy. Consequently, we often find ourselves doing everything we can to avoid facing the issue. And the reasons we come up with sound pretty good and effectively forestall the inevitable. However, Pritchett explains these are not just bad reasons; these are selfish excuses.

Compassion is caring about others, but retaining the employee who should be fired is all about caring for ourselves—it is never about the employee. We want to protect our investment, our presumptuous feeling of parental responsibility, our time and energy, even our reputation for "being nice." If employees quit or were hit by the proverbial bus, we would find a way to address any real issues related to their sudden absence—we would have to, because their departure date would be out of our control.

Pritchett reminds us that firing the employee should be a last resort after trying to retain the person in a different position (in reality, not in name only). But if it has to be done, he explains how to do it right. When we don’t fire employees who need to be fired, we aren't doing anyone any favors.

When we don’t fire someone we should, our inaction is malicious. We are hurting our organization and wasting the employee’s time on a job with no future. Our motivations are most likely selfish; at the very best, we are just being stupid.

Some of the other great and immediately practical advice:

Nobody Needs an Optimistic Accountant: You should be optimistic about your business. Your salespeople should be optimistic about your business. Your parents, your children, your vendors, and your employees should be optimistic about your business. You do not want any negative, pessimistic, whining, cry-baby Chicken Littles on your team. Except for your accountant.

Your accountant, controller, bookkeeper, CFO — whoever it is that counts your money — should be a pessimist. Your accountant should not be the kind of person who thinks things are always going to get better. Your accountant should be the kind of person who thinks things are always going to get worse. Your accountant should be the kind of person who, when you say, "Good morning," responds, "We'll see."

You Can Always Find 5%: I have talked with lots of small business people who also live right on the edge. Their business is in a perpetual cash crunch because their expenses always seem to be right behind (if not a bit ahead of) their income. Five percent is often the difference between losing money and making money.

Now I understand that lots of individuals and businesses have financial difficulties that make 5% look like pigeon feed. That is a whole other chapter: Chapter 11. I am talking about the businesses that are basically doing all right, but seem to be perpetually treading water to stay at the break-even point. For these businesses 5% is the difference between profit and loss — and that is a big difference.

The good news is that you can always find 5%.

Fire Someone Today will help you too look at business problems through another lens and show you how to deal with them head-on in constructive and profitable ways.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 06:59 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Books , Management



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