When she reached the podium and begin to speak, the hairs on my arms stood up. Her speech was soft with a thick accent, but there was a presence about her unlike anything I had ever experienced up to then or now. Forgive me, but the only analogy that I have found to describe it is the concept of “The Force” from Star Wars. It was as if Yoda had walked in the room, and you could physically feel the disturbance in “The Force.” Needless to say, I listened closely to every word as she presented a simple but powerful message of love thy neighbor as thyself. It was by far the most moving spiritual experience of my life, and I have always been thankful that I was lucky enough to be in that church on that day.
Now what does this spiritual story have to do with being an effective CEO? If I love all my employees, does that mean I can never fire anyone? This is what the Saint CEO may think, but it’s not in the best interest of all concerned. As every parent knows, while we love our kids we often act against their immediate wishes. That may mean giving them a swift kick in the rear when they need it or denying them something they desire.
The Saint CEO really values harmony over all other things and doesn’t want to deal with unpleasant conversations. Almost no CEO likes the idea of firing people, but it comes with the job. If you can’t force yourself to handle these situations in a timely manner, it will greatly decrease your credibility with the organization.
Are you a Saint CEO?
- Is there someone in your organization who the majority of people in the company think is incompetent?
- Do you avoid confronting key personnel issues hoping they will get better over time?
- Does your team have confidence that you will make the right decision in a timely manner no matter how personally painful it might be?