Third Rule of Management: Never Shoot The Horse You Are Riding
Dear Little Brother,
When you are managing a team of people, you are inevitably going to have turnover. There are two kinds of turnover: the kind that you plan for and the kind that you haven’t planned for.
Let’s put off talking about the kind of turnover that you haven’t planned for and focus on the kind that you can plan for.
The type of turnover where it is probably time for you to make some sort of change in a position that reports to you for some reason. Most of the time you can say it simply like this: you know the person who is currently is in that position just isn’t going to work out and you need to find a replacement.
When you find yourself in this situation (and you will — early and often) here is the simple do and don’t of what the best course of action is:
Spend your time and energy finding a replacement for the position. Advertise, get the word out in your network, ask for referrals from different departments – do everything you can to find other qualified candidates that you can interview to fill the position. Spend your time interviewing and getting someone in place that you think can do the job.
Yes, I realize that I said to fire fast earlier – but under virtually no circumstances should you actually fire someone that you need to do a specific job until you have their replacement.
Put simply: don’t shoot the horse you are riding.
Imagine going through a desert in the middle of the summer searching for water and you are riding a horse.
Now imagine that you know the horse isn’t your favorite or that you have a hunch that the horse is going to run off at night or maybe even suspect that the horse won’t make it all the way to your destination.
Don’t shoot the horse you are riding until you get another horse.
Otherwise you are walking.
With your gear on your back.
Through a desert.
In the middle of the summer.
PS I think you might be well on your way to becoming a management Jiu Jitsu ninja.