Thursday, May 6, 2010

Time to "Cut Bait?"

We've all been there. We have someone on our team that "just isn't working out." We know it is true, but rather than do the intelligent thing...we wait. And so, the bleeding continues or the cancer spreads, whichever the case may be. One thing is for sure. The situation rarely improves.

Why do we wait? Why do we put ourselves (and others) through this agony? There are two primary reasons that I have encountered personally and through my interaction with other managers.

First, we blame ourselves. We say we haven't made our expectations clear, or we haven't given them enough time to develop, or we haven't given them the right training or the right tools to succeed, or...or...or etc. We think if we can just fix those things and give them more time it will all work out.

Second, we hold out hope for a major turnaround. We think if we just wait a few more weeks or months they will discover the missing link, the "light" will go on and everything will be just fine.

Ah, yes...the magic potion of time. We fool ourselves into thinking it holds the mystical key to a happy ending. The reality is that it rarely does. Usually, the opposite is true. The longer we wait, the more damage is the organization, to relationships, to our reputation.

In both cases, the culprit is usually our unwillingness to admit we made a mistake when we hired this person.

Let's not let that happen anymore. When we hear that nagging, yet confident voice saying "it just isn't going to work out," let's listen. Let's do ourselves, the organization and that person a favor and end it directly and graciously. What kind of damage is being done while you wait?

Seize the day!

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