October 8; Dead Man Working
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful


Chapter Ten: Deciding 8 October

When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out,

people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.

Ecclesiastes 8:11

Dead Man Working


He had been terminated for cause. He had not been told.

He had it coming. He should have been going.

Your Business Professor once worked with a Fortune 500 sized organization. A particular termination of a manager stands out for two sins. Not so much for what the manager did (commission) but for what the Big Boss did not do (omission).

It is eerie that in the atmospherics of office politics that everyone knew that the senior manager was on the outs for a major violation of organizational ordinances. Terminations are, of course, a private matter—that everyone seems to know about especially if salacious. (Hint: he spent hours of company time on Internet pornography.) Others had been escorted out of the building for the same infraction.

He was counseled. But then nothing happened. The employee thought that the transgression was settled and behind him and he could go on with his livelihood as before.

He was wrong. The Big Boss had decided to fire him. Getting fired should never be a shock. But the surprise came from the staff. The disbelief was not in the (pending?) dismissal but that the offender was not notified and remained on the payroll.

Big Boss (BB) made the decision, but didn’t drop the axe. I asked BB about the situation. He said, “He’s gone, but he doesn’t know it.”

“We’ve got to tell him,” I said. “The guy thinks he’s weathered the storm and just bought himself a new Mercedes.” An S-Class; high-end back in the day. Really expensive.

BB still did nothing. The manager was not terminated for months. He could have been looking for another job and saving his money.

The failure of the Big Boss to act decisively hurt both the employee and company morale with the selective enforcement of standards. It was dark.

It is a cliché that the stock market and managers don’t like ambiguity or uncertainty. Neither do employees. Expectations must be handled carefully and enforced equally.

The offending manager was eventually fired.  It came as a surprise only to him. His expectations were not managed.

When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong, Ecclesiastes 8:11.



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