Have you ever woken up in the morning knowing you have to let someone go and just felt sick to your stomach? It’s the worst part of work, isn’t it? Even when it’s absolutely necessary — the money isn’t there or the employee hasn’t been contributing for ages — the emotional pain and mess of sending someone home is every good leader’s bête noire.
To make matters worse, letting someone go is, without doubt the moment when every leader is the most likely to screw up. Really screw up. Because when you fire a person the wrong way — that is, without generosity and respect — you can be sure of two things.
You’ve hurt someone unnecessarily.
And you’ve set up your organization for a future relationship from hell. After all, terminated employees don’t just fade away. They usually reappear, and pretty rapidly, as customers, suppliers, distributors, or in the worst-case scenario, competitors with an ax to grind.
By the way, this is a column about Ron Paul.
Yes, Ron Paul, and here’s why. The maxims of business and politics don’t always overlap, but when it comes to parting ways, they sure do. In business, firing someone incorrectly is a disaster that can haunt you for years. Same in politics.
Now, the GOP isn’t technically going to “fire” Dr. Paul. But look, even Ron Paul knows he’s not going to unpack his suitcases in the Lincoln Bedroom. At some point, his wildly entertaining, Don Quixote-like campaign for the White House is going to run out of time.