Leadership Moments: The Paralyzing Effects of Poor Performance

In this leadership moments video, I will be addressing the dilemma that many CEO’s, managers or other leaders face from time to time: terminating an employee.

Many people assume that CEO’s and other leaders are not phased by this dilemma since, after all, you cannot become a CEO without being able to make tough decisions. But the truth is, most people in this position become paralyzed and do not know what to do.

Before addressing whether or not to terminate the relationship, it is important to identify the cause of the paralysis.

Why do CEO’s become paralyzed:

  • Anger: Usually a leader becomes angry because someone is not performing and they feel betrayed. The leader has either chosen or supported the employee and their poor performance is seen as a breach in contract by the leader.
  • Guilt: Sometimes the leader realizes that they may not have communicated effectively with the employee about their poor performance. They feel guilty that they haven’t enacted a discipline process.

To be able to make the tough decision about terminating an employee, the leader must acknowledge their anger and guilt.

Once you have broken free from the paralysis and decide to terminate the employee, there are a few things which can help:

  • Identify how angry and guilty you are. Sometimes just acknowledging how you feel is all you need to move forward.
  • If you have not executed a progressive performance discipline plan, do it now.
  • Take the time to write a script of what you will say to the employee in the termination meeting. This can be your road map.

Terminating an employee is never easy or enjoyable but with these tips you can break free from the paralysis and make those tough decisions.

About The Author:

Rob Denker is the Managing Principal of rd&partners. He helps leaders consistently see tangible, real-world benefits by making behavioral changes that are directly linked to the organization’s strategic initiatives, and their own effectiveness as a leader. Connect with Rob and rd&partners on LinkedIn.

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