Home > Business Technology, Strategy > Are we big enough to apologize for firing people because of our incomptence, not theirs?

Are we big enough to apologize for firing people because of our incomptence, not theirs?

When I read this I was stunned. It is the right thing to admit this, but I have never heard anyone say they fired people and it is because of their own incompetence.

I must confess. I am in the same boat here. Some of the people I’ve fired were incompetent. Some weren’t and I was the problem. In a big organization, sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter. To the people it happens to, it does matter.

So here is the challenge. Go back through the last few years. What percent falls into one group or another?

Then think through. What can I do to prevent that from happening next time?

As the year ends you think about your life, your accomplishments, your failures. In my case, as a tech entrepreneur I was thinking, not about the thousands of people I hired in my life through my companies and who did well and sometimes very well, but about the people I have had to fire. These people come in two distinct groups. The ones I had to fire because they were incompetent and the ones I had to fire because I was incompetent.

With the first group I am at ease. But this post is dedicated to the second group. The ones I had to fire because my start up didn’t take off as planned. Like the first employees at Fon, we had to fire half of them only to hire others three years later. Like Fon took off, but later. It was hire, fire then hire again. Before at Jazztel the same thing happened: we hired too many, we then had to lay off hundreds and over time Jazztel has gone to an employee count that is at its highest ever. For both Fon and Jazztel, 2012 has been the best years of their existence but this is little consolation to the people I had to fire at the time. To those I owe an apology. My only excuse really is that the life of an entrepreneur is one of trial and error, and in my quest to build great companies I have to give things a try, and sometimes I am dead wrong. And people lose their jobs because of that. And they have families, mortgages, plans, and they suffer.

So here it is: this is an apology to all of those I had to fire in my life because I screwed up, because I failed, because I was incompetent. I am really sorry.

via An Apology | LinkedIn.

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