Learn and Lead

About continual learning and leadership

Would You Fire Your Best Performer?

Sanjay is a great team leader aspiring to be a manager. He has shown good results in the projects he has handled. He has shown willingness to go the extra mile in the tasks assigned. He has been constantly told he is a great performer and the company would not like to lose a great team leader. Regular feedback and company awards have made him proud and self confident. However he has had some issues in his ability to handle larger projects and teams. His view of the industry is relatively narrow. His view of a manager’s role is limited and his attitude is bordering towards arrogance and over confidence. He is closed to any feedback about his limitations and refuses to accept inputs to improve his abilities to become a good manager. He will not get the manager’s position that he is aspiring for. He has thrown tantrums that he will start looking for another job that gives him the promotion that he believes he deserves.

Would you simply wait for him to quit his job, paying him while he finds another job? Or would you fire your best performer who is great at the current role but not ready for the next role? Or would you give in to the tantrums and promote him even though he is not ready for the role?


With the job market opening up and companies vying for talent, I foresee a repeat of what was happening couple of years ago. Given the paucity of talent people were promoted to roles they just weren’t ready for. Do you think this will happen again?

Changing Context

During a recent organizational development workshop that I attended, the facilitator talked about changing context. It was an interesting discussion that got me thinking about my changed context. I could recognize a few that I have experienced in the last couple of years.

About two years ago my context as a manager and leader changed about the way I was managing my teams. I moved from 
"I have to do everything and I have get everything done” to “I have to enable people to do their jobs"
This significantly changed my approach to tasks that I and my team are responsible for. I would like to believe that this has actually made me more effective as a manager.

Since I started my blog and being more active on the social network another interesting context changed for me. I have gone from 
“You are an expert because you know something” to “You are an expert because you share what you know” and “You are also an expert because you know who knows”. 
Truly gives meaning to the phrase “the more you give, the more you get”

People retention and recruitment is a big challenge. I have tweeted in the past how I came across resumes of people who’ve had far too many job changes in their career. Now when I am recruiting, I am looking for if the person will stay in the organization for around 2 years. My context changed from looking for 
“Longevity in an organization” to “Will the person stay in the organization for about 2 years”
While it is too early to know about the specific hiring decisions but at least I find it easier to hire now.

What context changes have you experienced?

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by my employers and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of my employers.

Creative Commons License This work by Manish Mohan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 India License.

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