I Would Fire That Person

Posted on Feb 6, 2019

It is often very hard for leaders to calmly deal with resistance to change, and falling back on the “adapt or die” mentality is all too easy.

As a leader, you might feel like this demonstrates your strength and resolve. After all, you are presumably in the position that you are in because of your knowledge, your skills, your proven track record of success, so why does your direct report feel like they have the right to refuse to do what you’ve told them to do? It can be genuinely infuriating. You want to hit the giant red button and eject that person from the building.

But what if that person has a skill set that is difficult to replace? Maybe she is the only person who knows how to code a critical part of your custom system. Maybe he is the only one who can finish that particularly complex tax return by the deadline. Or maybe she is the most respected person on the team and firing her would be a crippling blow to team morale.

But the even more important question is … do you want to be effective at leading people? Because leading people often requires letting go of the high ground of being right and meeting people where they are in order to lead them through the resistance they feel to this change.

It’s not easy, which is why so many people in leadership positions on the org chart aren’t very good at actually leading people. They might get the work done, but consistently relying on “adapt or die” squashes creativity, initiative, and employee morale.

There’s a better way. Please contact me — I’d love to help.