Managing Expectations; Managing Exits



Fire Someone

TodayMy post on firing caused a firestorm. Let’s review.

Getting Fired should never be a surprise.

The stock market and Bosses don’t like uncertainty. Neither do Employees.


courtesy toothpastefordinnerExpectations, like people, must be handled carefully.

Your Business Blogger once worked with a Fortune 500 size organization. A particular termination stands out.

A senior manager committed a firing offense. He was counseled. Talked to. But then nothing happened. The employee thought the event was placed behind us all.

He was wrong.

The Boss made the decision, but didn’t drop the axe. “He’s gone, but doesn’t know it.”

Alert Reader Louis B writes:

I think the hard but right thing to do is fire people when the decision is made and manage the fallout or timing with the rest of the staff. And certainly fire people before they spend a lot of money at a time like Christmas.

The axed employee in our case study was not terminated for months. A dead man walking. Who didn’t know it. Who could have been looking for a job. Saving his money. And unfortunately continuing his lifestyle, as in Louis B’s example, in buying a new car.

The firing was a surprise only to him. His expectations were not managed.

And this is the lesson, the effect of The First Two Things a Female Manager Must Do — fire someone; cut someone’s budget — To not surprise, not shock the organization, or the employee, but to be effective.

Nancy LaJoice, a manager at the Baltimore/Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce, gets it right:

Wow! I am definitely…faint at heart stock. I find Kay’s suggestions [fire someone on day one] as civilized as a dog marking his territory. At times it may be necessary, but as standard procedure, I can’t even begin to agree.

In the Army, standard procedure taught that a sub-par efficiency report should never catch the soldier off-guard. Bad news does not get better with age. Constant counseling was demanded.

Firing a soldier is not an option for most military leaders. Summary execution, maybe, but not termination. Face a firing squad, not a firing.

So. This is the real challenge of female managers. Establishing dominance, as in Nancy’s example; a dog marking her territory — without becoming a b*tch.


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Thank you (foot)notes:

If you do business in and between Your Nation’s Capital and Balitmore join the Baltimore/Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce. I did.

Are Managers Sociopaths?


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