Deep cut is not the worst case scenario

This article is part of a series called Things I learned by failing at Green Fox.

For years, I believed that doing a deep cut, namely, letting go several employees, is the worst thing you’ll ever have to do as a leader of a company.

Photo by Igor Omilaev on Unsplash

Unfortunately, I had to go through the painful process of saying good bye to team members on multiple occasions. Obviously, I hated doing it, and I’d typically get nightmares and sleepless nights for days.

You might think that if, rationally speaking, it makes sense to fire someone would make it easier, but it’s not. It still painful. After all, we’re talking about human lives.

Even in the case of underperformance, even when it’s easy to tell that someone is not the right fit for the role, I found it difficult to let people go. The task becomes even more daunting when the reason is not related to performance, but about the financial situation of the company.

But there is worse

As painful as firing some is, it doesn’t even come close to the devastating feeling of having the whole company going out of business.

All of a sudden, it’s not just about 10% or 20% of the team, but 100% of the team loses their job, customers remain unserved and venders left unpaid. And there is nothing left for you to do.

You’re powerless.

You just have to sit and wait for the coming apocalypse.

A changing mindset

After this experience I’ve completely changed my mindset. Firing someone is never going to be painless; but knowing that there is a far worse scenario, I’ll know what I have to do.