Letting A Key Leader Go
Recently I’ve worked in two situations where a good leader has had to be let go as their performance slipped, expectations and demands increased and the CEO felt that a change was needed to rebuild momentum.
We spent a fair bit of time anticipating the likely reactions of the recipient and how to best handle the situation to protect all parties, and of course clients and the business.
No-one likes having a termination conversation with someone they know, has previously valued and has now become surplus to requirements – but it is an integral part of building a Peak Performing sports team, business, start-up, store or organisation. And it’s best to go about it in the following way:
- Follow the 6 P’s (Proper preparation prevents pretty poor performance).
- Have a clear plan in mind on how to replace the outgoing individual.
- Follow The Four Agreements.
- Take action quickly when you’ve made your mind up. Have a sleepless night and then get on and do it.
- Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes and be respectful, empathetic and engaged with the five step process he/she will inevitably be going through:
- Denial. They won’t believe it. It can’t be happening. You don’t mean it.
- Bargaining. Look, I’ll fix this, sort it out, change, deliver, it’ll all work out – so you can forget it happened and we can go back.
- Anger. You’ve got the wrong person. You don’t understand. Everyone else is to blame, not me. This is unfair.
- Sadness. Oh no – I’ve liked it here. I’ll miss it.
- Acceptance. OK – I get it. Now, how do we all get through this, survive and move on.
It’s never pleasant, but it’s a time when the CEO must do the right thing and do it right. For the good of the recipient, the team and the morale of all who remain.