The Art of Letting Go – When Parting Ways is the Best Option

April 10, 2017

The #1 job of any manager is to ensure the Right people are in the Right seats, working on the Right things, and behaving Rightly. These are known as the 4Rs. Some leaders strive to not only achieve the 4Rs, but to also have a high performing team.  

Pat Lencioni published a book in 2002 titled The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, wherein he described the many pitfalls that teams face as they seek to "row together." There are different reasons and circumstances as to when and why parting ways with one or more of the "rowers" is the right thing to do.  

One problem CEOs often face is when they feel like they can’t lose anyone, fearing it will cause panic from investors, customers or employees. But when the entire team notices one person struggling, and the CEO "blinks," the CEO loses credibility with the team because he/she took too long to remove the person. 

You’ll often hear CEOs say, "Why didn’t I do that sooner?" I’ve heard Pat Lencioni speak on this topic, and his answer is, "There is a good reason – you’re a wuss!"