Weekly Thought – October 6, 2015
Fred thought ahead so he wouldn’t be surprised. He always thought good executives had the capacity to lead without excessive noise and drama. He demonstrated this in observing: “Some executives build up a legend for sensational saves – shoe string catches – in situations that they should never have gotten into in the first place.”
In these next six months we will introduce two initiatives to serve our Christian institutions of higher education, and the next generation of leaders. Please pray as the BWFLI Prayer Network and the Women’s Leadership Cohort of BWFLI move forward.
Misguided Good Intentions
No executive gains maturity until he or she has fired a friend from a job which is clearly a misfit. Knowing this is in the person’s best interest rarely saves the outcome of a broken relationship, at least for the short term.
One of my friends made this difficult decision knowing it was necessary for his organization – and for the employee. To ignore the situation would be dishonest. Years later, the employee returned to say, “The day you fired me was one of my worst, but now I look back on it as one of the best. This was the wrong job and you had the courage to say so.”
A close friend built up a very successful business. He came to see me to talk over a key personnel issue – his son wanted to join the firm “How will you tell his Mother you are going to fire him?” I asked just like this so he felt the impact on the family, (especially his wife!) not just the business. Long before a family member is hired, they had better think about how they are going to fire them. This may never come, but being surprised leads to bad decisions.
A banker once advised me: “Never use your money to delay a failure.” Out of misguided pity, we often use out time and resources to prolong the agony of a hopeless situation while we ignore the potential of a dozen alternatives.
As a board member and friend of many Christian organizations, I see this way more than I should. The idea of “Christian love” covers up inefficient and ineffective employee relations. People who should be relieved are reassigned or moved to non-essential positions. Our stewardship of people’s gifts requires wise management.
Seeking to be popular is to hand your moral choices over to others. An example is a parent who loves a child too little to administer punishment. We know “love is willing the best for the other.” The willingness to make the tough call for the good of the individual and the organization is the hallmark of strong leadership.
Think about this: 1) How would I deal with the family business situation? 2) Who needs a tough love conversation? 3) Why do others shrink back from confronting me?
Words of Wisdom: “No executive gains maturity until he or she has fired a friend from a job which is clearly a misfit.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The intentions of the heart belong to a man, but the answer of the tongue comes from the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:1 NET Bible)