A better (small) business blog

Eating frogs

I was lucky enough to take over the reigns of our business on 1 January 2005. Just 4 days later, I fired a member of staff.

Just to be clear:

  • I did not enjoy this
  • I did not take it lightly
  • We dismiss very few people at The Hobbs Parker Group
  • The terms we offered to this individual were fair

However, I knew it was the right decision. This member of our team was not up to scratch and was letting our clients and her work colleagues down despite our best endeavours to help her improve.

What I was not expecting:

  • That others members of staff would respect a decision to fire a member of their team
  • There there would be no negative feedback

And what I learnt:

Dealing with a problem fairly and early is liberating — the worry was over, we could now concentrate on the positive aspects of our business — this had been holding us back for too long.

I have now been Chief Executive for over 10 years and often think back to this lesson. If you know there is a problem at your business avoid the temptation to leave it for another day and instead take the time to fully consider your options, spend 24 hours or so mulling the decision over and then deal with it.

You will know if you need to make a tough call in your business — be fair, act promptly and move on.

If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first — Mark Twain

Roger LightfootEating frogs