Second Rule of Management: Fire Fast
Dear Little Brother,
One of the most difficult situations you will soon be faced with as a new manager has to do with firing people.
When is the best time to fire someone?
The first time it crosses your mind.
Maybe at first glance, this seems a little dramatic — but it isn’t really.
This simple rule of thumb was taught to me by a wise old crusty boss (who was busy getting an online MBA degree at the time) that I once had and having been through more-than-a-few of these situations, I can tell you that this simple rule is a good idea.
Most of the time, it seems that people react to the words “getting fired” in a negative way.
I think this is a little weird that people react this way.
In my experience, most of the situations I have been involved in where someone was fired ended up positive for both parties.
Not all of them — but a vast majority of them.
One of the most common reasons I have seen people stay too long in the wrong job has to do directly with the rule of: in times of crisis, people tend to revert to the familiar.
If you translate this into the behavior of most of the people who are now working for you, it means that even if deep-down-inside they know that they are unhappy in their job for whatever reason, they still don’t quit.
They just keep showing up, day after day doing mediocre work and hoping they just don’t get fired.
So if you develop enough of a managerial sixth-sense that this is happening with someone – sit down with them, learn more about what is really going on and then if it really is a case where they need to move on?
Remember: hire slow, fire fast.