Someone in our network recently relayed a story: She was planning to spend what essentially amounted to her life savings to put an addition on her house. She met with the designer, and the designer revealed several areas of weakness, as well as anxiety about her ability to complete certain aspects of the project. Rather than run screaming in the other direction, our acquaintance felt compelled to reassure the designer and figured they could “learn together.” When we expressed surprise, our acquaintance said: “I didn’t want to hurt her feelings.”
This person was going to empty out her bank accounts to someone, and yet was more concerned about feelings than results.
Think nothing about this story applies to you? We encourage you to think again.
Is there an employee at your business who is ill-suited to his job, but you haven’t had the heart to fire him? Perhaps he was your first hire. Perhaps he has a personal connection. Perhaps you know he’s smart but he’s just in way over his head. Perhaps he used to be a great fit but has been outpaced by the growth of the business.
Are you letting feelings override logic?
It’s okay to be a compassionate leader. But sometimes, compassion means ensuring that people are in the roles that are right for them. Our friend should have read the clear warning signs and seen that this designer was better off with a different project. If anything, she was doing the designer a disservice by putting her in a position where she was almost certainly doomed to fail.
The saying goes: It’s not personal, it’s business. We know that it can still feel personal. And that’s okay. But we want to empower you to make smart hiring (and firing) decisions for the sake of everyone involved. If you need help, let us know. We’ve bridged gaps, stepped in in the midst of awkward transitions, and kept things running smoothly. (Much more smoothly, we should note, than that house addition.)