Managing People: What are we going to do about Joe?

We are continuing our series based on The Goal by Eliyahu M Goldratt and the Theory of Constraints. {This series was co-written with Brad Stillahn.}

Dr. Lisa: “Who’s Joe? You’d better tell them right away.”

Brad: “Joe is that problem personality you have in your organization. Joe’s just a nickname. It could be anyone, man or woman, exempt or non-exempt employee. People have to put up with Joe, have confrontations with Joe, avoid Joe, hope that the company leader will deal with Joe, etc.”

Dr. Lisa: “Sounds toxic. Why put up with that poison in the organization?”

Brad: “There’s generally a good reason. The person has special skills, or has built dependency in the organization around his or her silo, or has choked off information flow so no one else knows what’s going on. So, there is a risk and/or cost with taking action. We business owners can tell ourselves scary stories about what could go wrong if we try to deal with it, so we generally avoid dealing with it.”

Dr. Lisa: “Yeah, and if you don’t have a plan in place, and/or his or her replacement lined up, there is a real likelihood of things going wrong. The logic is clear. Still, it can’t be good for the morale of the organization to be tiptoeing around Joe.”

Brad: “Action is required. Occasionally, Joe has to go. But not always, it depends on the leader of the organization. Managing people is ultimately the leader’s responsibility. Most of the time, in small businesses, the leader is not good at or doesn’t know how to manage people. It’s not that they aren’t capable, they just don’t know how. They are very frustrated about it, too. They need help.”

…to be continued.

Here’s to maximizing YOUR profits!

Dr Lisa Lang

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