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Father. Sales & Marketing Executive. Blogger. Traveler. Wine Enthusiast. 'Nole for Life. 40 with "Benes" brand is a mindset and belief that, like a fine wine, you get better with age. Experience, wisdom, and knowledge allow you to have real, raw, authentic takes on life and business.

You’re Fired

Eighty-sixed. Walking Papers. Canned. Axed. Pink Slip Kiss. Shown the Door. Turn in your playbook. Given the old heave-ho. There are a plethora of euphemisms for the phrase that everyone loves to hear The Donald say to would-be apprentices. While it may be funny when Donald Trump utters the words “You’re Fired” on TV, it is no laughing matter when you hear them from your boss.

andy reidThe last day of 2012 became Black Monday in the NFL as 12 head coaches and general managers were given the proverbial boot. Whether it was Andy Reid with 14 years of service or Pat Shurmur in his first with the Browns, the messages were heard loud and clear around The League. The NFL operates with a “faster-ticking clock” that requires leadership to win now. Janet Jackson made the other message famous in 1986 with her hit, “What have you done for me lately.” The dismissals included three coaches who led their teams to Super Bowls in the last eight years.

Why do people get shown the door? A recent study cited 10 reasons employees get fired. Among the surveyed companies from 2008-2012, the top 10 reasons to get shown the door are:

  1. Dishonesty, evasion, or lack of integrity on the job
  2. Lying on a resume (see George O’Leary at Notre Dame)
  3. Refusing to follow directions and orders.
  4. Talking too much and conducting personal business at work
  5. Inconsistency – unreliable work and behaviors
  6. Inability to get along with other people/reducing productivity
  7. Inability to actually do assigned job tasks
  8. 8. Performing tasks slowly, with numerous errors
  9. High absenteeism rate
  10. Drug and/or alcohol abuse

The interesting thing about the study findings is that performance is not explicitly called out. What about results?  I don’t know the profile of the companies surveyed, but in the organizations I’ve been associated with achieving results mattered most. Did the individual and the organization perform at a level that met or exceeded the stated objectives, goals, and commitments? If the answer is no month after month and quarter after quarter then the situation calls for some type of leadership action. Failing to take the necessary performance management action is the fastest way to deteriorate a results-driven culture. It destroys morale within a team and diminishes the leadership team’s credibility.  

Does your organization need to adopt Jack Welch’s GE model where a “rank and yank” system targeted the bottom 10% of performers for termination? Maybe, maybe not. The point is that if you want to develop a winning culture that thrives on high performance then results should be on the top 10 list.

In the world of sports it’s all about wins and losses. At the end of the day the clock is ticking and it’s more about the walk than the talk. I believe Bill Parcels, former Super Bowl winning coach said it best, “You are what your record says you are.”

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2 Comments on “You’re Fired”

  1. Capek, Bill 01/03/2013 at 7:58 AM #

    Good stuff big dog.

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Anonymous 01/03/2013 at 5:57 PM #

    The Bill Parcells quote is one of my favorites. No gray area.

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