You might remember Henri, the alias for the Nano-addict from a previous ARTICLE who presumably worked for our company. Remember though that I didn’t know quite what he did. At the time I didn’t really follow the marketing staff around, or know their job functions.

Todd Gilles and I fly home from Russia after Elbrus Race 2013

I was pretty wrapped up in the whole tech and programming aspect of the business then. I’ve learned a lot since though. His boss, whom I’ll call Byron, decided one day to fire Henri. But he couldn’t do it himself. So one day when Byron was out of the office and I was there, he called me.

Byron: “Fire Henri”
Me: “Why”
Byron: “Just fire him”
Me: “Okay”

So I walked into Henri’s front-room set of tables he lovingly referred to as his “office”.

Me: “Henri. Get your [stuff] together and go home.”
Henri: “Huh?”
Me: “You’re fired. Go.”
Henri: “You can’t do that. You have to tell me why.”
Me: “This is a right-to-work state. I don’t have to tell you anything.”
Henri: “But I need to know.”
Me: “Talk to Byron. You can ask him.”

Since Henri never seemed to have done anything right at any time, and Byron didn’t give me a reason for wanting finally firing him. I actually didn’t know what was going on, so I couldn’t answer any questions. I thought by being vague and suggesting he talk to the source of the decision, I would have Byron take responsibility for the firing. He wasn’t able to though, and kept Henri on through a couple more rounds of not doing anything productive and being rehired and refired.

Halloween is just around the corner

I think we wasted a lot of time and money on poor Henri, and over the years I’ve learned that it makes great business sense to just cut the rope and let employees who can’t pull their own weight go. Set them free so they can evolve into the person they were meant to be, and hopefully find a better fit with a different employer who can respect them for who they are.

And maybe even be excited about the newest colors of the Nano.

[update: Brian Tracy highly recommends that you instantly cut the rope on any employee you would not immediately rehire should your business tank or otherwise be destroyed]

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