I dismissed an employee today. And unlike Donald Trump, I took no great pride or glee in having to do it.
The guy wasn’t sacked because he did something horribly wrong or evil, or because he was a real pain in the arse, nor even because he was lazy and didn’t do much; in fact he was one of the most polite and happy people we have. So why sack him?
Because he was a passenger.
And I have learnt (the hard way) not to tolerate passengers in our business, people whose performance and contributions cannot be linked directly to achieving the company goals. We want- no, we EXPECT, our people to pursue mastery in what they do. It’s essential.
And if the don’t, can’t or won’t they are noticed, because they are ‘different,’ they become passenger’s. We have a series of measures and checks that helps us to identify passengers, including a clearly defined exit mechanism, the ‘departure gate.’
In our organisation, those who arrive at the “departure gate” are those who are just happy to meander through the days; “just doing it”. They don’t pursue mastery, they don’t contribute value. Not to me, not to their peers, and not to the business.
Such a policy is tough love; “Please go and meander along somewhere else; we are in a hurry here.” But it works.
“If there is nothing very special about your work, no matter how hard you apply yourself you won’t get noticed, and that increasingly means you won’t get paid much either.”(Particularly if you don't have a job)
And that is the cold, hard truth. Be special, or you’ll end up in the departure lounge at your place of work.
And I hate (H-A-T-E) having to meet our people in such places.