Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.—George Carlin
How many unmade decisions are cluttering the minds of CEOs and other leaders at this very moment? Very often, the lack of action involves people. How many hours are wasted in the C-Suite because of unmade people decisions? How does this emotional burden impact other decisions? What does this do for other work and home relationships? How much does this cost in both direct hours and opportunity cost for leadership?
There is a compelling responsibility that most managers neglect. It is not production, operations, planning, or strategy. It is not systems, delegation, or marketing. The number one job for any worthy manager is to dehire those team members with a toxic, bad attitude.
"This neglected and often-ignored responsibility will erode and eventually undermine whatever leadership the CEO may have had with the team."
These organizational cancers have but one mission in life: they infect the rest of the organization with the negativity that consumes them. This neglected and often-ignored responsibility will erode and eventually undermine whatever leadership the CEO may have had with the team. The rest of team has no power to remove these tumors and often suffers more work and less appreciation.
Get your scalpel out today and get to work. The sooner you act, the better your team will perform and the easier your work life will become. Think about how much of your time is consumed by these cancerous, infectious, and negative individuals. Get it done.
"When we decide to postpone a decision, others are affected by the indecision."
Many aspiring leaders do not realize that not making a decision is a decision. The decision not to act may seem like a passive action when, in reality, the opposite may be true. When we decide to postpone a decision, others are affected by the indecision. From the simple to the complex, we make decisions daily. We also decide to postpone decisions while we are pondering or considering how to act.
Decisions are like organizational spiderwebs that impact everyone on the team. Little decisions only bump the web, while larger decisions shake it violently. It is only the perception of severity that tempts indecision. For example, deciding not to say something is a decision. Deciding not to act is a decision. Many see decision making as two-dimensional: do this or do that. In reality, it is three-dimensional: do this, do that, or do
nothing. There is a consequence to all of these perspectives, and there are results for all three decisions.
"Underperformers depend on indecision for their very existence in an organization."
Managers often struggle the most with people-related decisions. Underperformers depend on indecision for their very existence in an organization. They are betting that the manager would rather tolerate low performance than deal with them directly. Ironically, many are winning this bet.
When it comes to people, if you think you have to make a people decision, you probably do. The pain of acting seems greater than the pain of not acting. And, for the decision maker, the temporary pain avoidance is often followed by long-term chronic organizational pain that everyone else on the team can feel. In other words, an underperformer can cause great pain for his or her peer group. The longer the pain is allowed to continue, the
less likely it is that the decision maker is considered to be a leader by the rest of the team. The longer we allow underperformers to exist, the faster we lose the title of “leader” for our team.
"The worst boss I ever had seemed to be a good person. But I never enjoyed working for him because he never seemed capable of or willing to make a decision."
When the time came to take action or make a decision, he usually postponed action. I would watch many projects move down in the pile of other decisions he would not make. I even started using colorful folders (bright red, mostly) in the hopes he would see them, remember them, and eventually make a decision.
I value my experience with him greatly because I learned that not making a decision is deciding not to act. This intentional attempt to abdicate leadership only loses you the title of “leader” for your followers. When faced with a difficult decision, remember that it is not just one action or another. The third dimension of decision making is nothing, and the cost of nothing could be greater than you ever imagined.
"We must constantly make room for the person who can take our team to the next level."
As leaders, we must accept that change and transition are necessary to find and attract better talent. If we tolerate bad attitudes and unwanted behavior, we are really not leading. We must constantly make room for the person who can take our team to the next level. Although not pleasant, it is an absolute necessity for an organization to improve. If you really want to win the war for talent, you must be willing to attract and hire the best. You cannot do this
with the wrong people stuck in key positions on your team.
I have yet to encounter an organization that is proud of how current performance reviews work. In fact, most executives are ashamed when asked about this common corporate ritual. Why are they so dysfunctional? According to Mark Murphy, in a recent survey of forty-eight thousand CEOs, managers, and employees, he found that only 13 percent of managers and 6 percent of CEOs thought year-end
reviews were effective.
"most employees surveyed think top performers should be rewarded when most are not."
The dysfunction has more to do with timing and reward than anything. If your boss waits almost a year to tell you that you are not performing at the highest level, the first question you will probably have is “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” Moreover, “How can I receive good remarks during a performance review and then get fired a few months later?” Also, employees feel like the boss doesn’t really know how and what they do. And finally, most employees
surveyed think top performers should be rewarded when most are not...