I had to put my 7 year old dog down last week.  Before judgement is passed the dog had attacked my 2 year old daughter, I spent 6 months trying to rehome her. Given her aggressive past no shelter was willing to take her in.  Lastly, 2 behavioral experts recommended euthanasia – I signed off on it.

Ethics and political beliefs set aside for the moment, I want to talk about decision.  Specifically, decision responsibilities that come with being a parent and decision responsibilities that come with being the leader of your company.  You know what’s right for your family and what is right for your company.  If you don’t, you have no business being in the business of either.

Red flags, gut feelings, intuition.  We all know where our business weaknesses are.  Generally, we cover them up or we pick our battles – after all nothing is ever going to be perfect.  But the big ones – the big ones we know.  And it falls to you to take decisive action in your decision making on those topics.

My dog bit my kid – hard line.  The decision to rehome, relinquish, or euthanize has already been made – I know it, you know it.  What’s left is to gather the fortitude and confidence to make the decision, take action.  In making the decision I’m going to hurt people, I’m going to offend people.  That’s the callous responsibility that comes with being a parent. Callous is a great word here because it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks.  It’s my family, I’m the head of that family, and I know what’s right and needed for my family.  As such, I act. Your business is the same.

We all know the employee that has no business being out on the floor.  It’s embarrassing to you and your company that we continue to let them out there day after day.  I know it, you know it. But you justify it to yourself:

  1. I’d need to find another employee.
  2. Maybe they’ll improve.
  3. They’re good people and I don’t want to hurt their feelings.

It’s your responsibility to your business to make the hard callous choices. Callous again because the decision is going to hurt some one but it has to be done.

Side story – before I fired my first employee I asked a mentor for some advice.  He told me straight out, there is nothing I can say or do in that moment of letting some one go that will make them feel better. Don’t even try.

I understand the bond between parents and the exclusive club of business owners.  I understand the perceived callousness of management.  You are in an exclusive class as a parent and as a business owner.  In both cases you become responsible for more than just yourself.  We have to make decisions that others will never have to.  We have a responsibility to act knowing it’s going to offend and hurt.

Putting Keely down was hard.  It doesn’t take away from the fact that I loved her.  But when it comes to my first born decisive decision and action had to happen. No matter how callous it may appear.