You can’t fire everyone

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Apr 06

Yesterday, I commented on how sports isn’t like business in that sports has a “season.” A defined beginning and end. Also, an off-season where important work goes on, but it is a time of recovery and preparation for the next season.

Business, of course, isn’t like that. Business today is ‘always on’ and really working 24-hours a day, especially with those companies who have a global presence.

Sports is different in a another way as well: In most professional sports, you can turn over the entire team. It’s all an issue of contracts and trades. If you, as a general manager, don’t like the personnel on your team, you can trade them or release them. Everyone. You will be congratulated or disparaged in the press, of course, but if you really want to rebuild and see releasing everyone as the way to do it, you can.

Business isn’t like that either. You can’t just fire everyone. Unless, of course, you are Circuit City where you fire everyone and then offer to rehire them at lower wages. But, I digress.

Because you can’t fire everyone, the challenge is to work with the teams to achieve your goals. Tough to do when you inherit most everyone on a team when a manager takes over.

But, what about the Cubicle Warrior? Really great individual contributors watch the management change and determine what now needs to be done to be successful on this new iteration of a team. Here’s what to watch for:

  • Management change reason. Was your former manager promoted? Fired? Moved to a different position? Each of those reasons will result in some insight as to what the motivation was for changing your leadership.
  • Initial meetings where vision is provided. If what you are hearing is different than your former manager’s vision, you need to listen closely and align yourself with the new direction for the group.
  • Collaborate with the team. Not everyone on your team will go along with the same or new direction. Your objective should be to align yourself with the management direction and work with others who are doing the same thing. You don’t think management wants to give work to those who aren’t working in the new direction, do you?

Management changes happen all the time — it should be expected. Your challenge is to work with the pieces in place: your new manager, your current team, the new vision and direction, and your personal work. After all, in business, you can’t fire everyone.

  • […] is not like sports as there is no off-season, no time to recover and sports teams are able to turn over all of their players on the team. You’ve seen some of these posts […]

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