A staff member asked another one of my staff members; ‘Does Nick fire people?’ The answer is yes, but not too often at this point and I’ll elaborate why.
As a business owner, I don’t particularly pride myself on my management skills, although I am fully capable of doing so. Management usually is about keeping the status quo or incremental improvements. Managers usually need direction and vision and that comes from a boss. I humbly identify as a boss.
For the most part when there’s issues with staff, it comes down to bad management. Bad management, comes down to down to bad leadership. I am trying to setup my businesses so they (the staff and management) can run, more or less on Autopilot. I do pride myself in being able to run anyone’s position in my businesses, although that may be a limitation to potential.
I want my businesses to be run by the people that are in them. I have picked incredibly difficult businesses to earn money. They are incredibly labour intensive and require the work of a lot of people to make them run. I need those people to help me. For the most part, if you treat people with respect they want to help you.
With that said, nobody cares about work. Everyone is in it for themselves. I maybe a bit of a skeptic and pessimist, but I don’t expect anyone to ever do anything for me unless there’s something inherently selfish in it for them. There’s no altruistic actions taken by other for my benefit. Of course not. It sounds obvious when it’s written.
I reward the behaviour of my staff with a carrot. I have to keep growing carrots. I have to keep feeding carrots. If the people aren’t filled on carrots, they’ll wonder what parsnips taste like. It works for them. It works for me. Finding staff is a time consuming process and doesn’t move me forward.
Can the job get done. Can it get done effectively? Can it get done without my constant oversight? That’s what I’m after. If I’m constantly firing people I can’t move on to the next task. If there’s a major issue with performance, it’s likely the result of my inability to lead, or my inability to manage.
There are times when I’m managing and that is the job. I’m not working towards a new project, I’m working to maximize this one. That’s when I fire people a lot more freely. I then have the time to deal with optimization. Otherwise, typically, I don’t have that time. I ask myself when there’s a screw up, is this my fault? Can this be corrected? The answer is usually yes. It’s ultimately my fault if there’s a screw up.
This isn’t to say I don’t fire people when it’s not convenient for me. I still do that all the time. I especially will fire someone for; disrespect, breaking trust, stealing, any malicious act, the list goes on, but my point is clear.
To answer the question, do I fire anyone. The answer is yes, but first I ask, can I be a better boss to elicit better performance?