Over the holiday weekend, I’ve seen countless families outside in the Texas heat pulling landscaping duty- for some it’s a passion, for others a chore. My neighbor, in looking at her own flowerbeds, immediately noticed a few plants that looked more like weeds. But before she started yanking up plants and chucking them into the trash bin, she decided to call the top-notch landscaper who planted both of our beds just a few short months ago- and it was an extremely smart choice. No one will ever call me a gardener- I don’t know enough about it and it’s almost cost-ineffective to attempt to learn it when there are professionals out there that can make quick work of any project I will ever dream up. I always end up saving time and money.
The truth of the matter is that while I may not know plants- I know people. The landscaper who looked at my neighbor’s flowerbeds was able to almost immediately determine which plants could be nursed back to life with minimal intervention and would eventually grow and bloom. A solid leader should be able to the same for his or her team. It’s often the case that an under-performing team member can be restored to positive productivity with a small amount of individualized attention or retraining. When that simple step restores team harmony, it’s a good day for the leader and for the team.
Yet, I watched that gardener evaluate all of my neighbor’s plants carefully- and while he elected to nurse some, others that he determined to be weeds or unrecoverable he ripped out by the root. He did that to prevent the weeds from choking the life out of the healthy plants that were thriving nearby. Sometimes a leader must do the very same. If someone on your team is like a virus- constantly dragging the team down through poor performance or a bad attitude- figuratively choking the life out of your organization, it’s time to do something about it. It may be a hard day for the leader and the “weed”, but the team ultimately wins. If you can’t make the determination between the flowers and the weeds, bring someone in who can.
Monday Morning Perspective:
“Executives owe it to the organization and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs.” – Peter Drucker