As a Certified EOS Implementer®, I have met with hundreds of business leaders. And I have to tell you that nothing makes me happier than the prospect of helping a company do better. But doing better rarely comes without some growing pains. Change can be hard and early in the process, the leadership team may find they have to dig deep and find the courage to make changes.
Identifying the Issues
As a leadership team begins to work through the EOS Process®, they identify their core values. With the Accountability Chart™ taking shape and their priorities becoming clearer, inevitably, personnel issues end up on the Issues List.
Actually, personnel issues are some of the most common root causes for problems that businesses face. So, we work through the process to figure out exactly what isn’t working.
After going through the People Analyzer™, it usually becomes obvious that someone doesn’t fit in this newly defined company. I encourage leaders to have tough conversations with people who operate below the bar. Clearly outlining expectations and using the three-strike rule sets a timetable for the below-the-bar person.
Sometimes a person just needs to hear the expectations for their role and they turn things around for good. Other times, you can tell the person doesn’t get it, want it, or have the capacity to do that job. Sure, they might improve for a while, but then they fall back into the same bad habits. They show themselves as the wrong people in the wrong seat.
Other times, a person needs a refresher on the core values. Some will improve during the timeframe given, others will not. Regardless, something needs to change for the good of the company.
Indecision Holds You Back
Several times I’ve had clients solving the same people issues on their Issues List for more than one quarter. They get stuck in indecision on solving the problem.
They have it as quarterly Rocks and on their To-Do Lists. But it doesn’t get to-done. They come to their next quarterly session and it’s still on the Issues List. They didn’t take care of the problem and I find myself having to hit them (with my voice, of course).
I have to ask them, “What’re you guys doing? This is the definition of insanity! This person has held you back long enough and they need to go. They’ll be better, you’ll be better, and they already know what’s going on.”
I’ll be honest here. It takes a lot of mental self-control to not act like a consultant and just give them advice. I can only continue to emphasize what the team has already said and reflect back to them their own words. I can’t push them or make them change. They have to do that themselves. I can only remind them of what they said they wanted and knew they had to do. I try to make that clear in their heads and hope for the best for the next session.
Finding the Courage to Say Goodbye
When the person finally leaves the company — on their own or the leadership team fires them -— everyone feels relief. Without exception, you see that everyone feels better. The next time I meet with the leadership team they say, “Finally! Why did we wait so long?” Everyone, including the outgoing person, realizes they benefited from the change.
I have to tap back into the mental self-control to hold back from telling them, “I told you so.” Because I know these are painful changes. If a personnel issue is holding your business back, I hope you have the courage to make changes. It’ll be hard, but you’ll be glad you did. It’s good for your mental health AND the health of your company.