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Small companies really have a raw deal when it comes to letting people go. Big companies can hold on for a much longer time, for there are so many other people to cover.

When an underperformer is finally asked to leave big company, he usually go out the door without show-stopping trauma to his colleagues, organization or the work.

In small companies, by contrast, the mistakes of bad performers usually hit the bottom line hard and real-time. When time comes to let them go, there is something that just feels too personal about it. A departure may feel like a death in the family. Even if the fired employee was more bad than good, his removal can significantly affect operations, not to mention the relations with their client.

There are only four kinds of managers, classified by how well they perform and how well they demonstrate good values, such as candor and customer service.

Managers who deliver great results and adhere to good values are easy. They should be praised and rewarded at every opportunity.

Managers with poor results but good values deserve another chance, maybe in another position within the organization.

The third kind of managers, those with great results and lousy values, are the kind that destroys the organization. They deliver numbers, but usually at the expense of their own people. Companies often keep these jerks around for way too long, destroying morale and trust as they do.

Obviously, the fourth kind of manager, who got a poor performance and poor values, is the easiest kind to fire. Should we finally get the guts to cut the cord with this manager, afterwards maybe we will wonder why we didn’t do it sooner.

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