Do you have a hire who is like an ex?

Do you have a hire who is like an ex? It starts off with you thinking “maybe this won’t work out”.  But then something good happens (or some redeeming thing), so then you think, “well, maybe this will work out afterall”.

One of my clients is experiencing this right now.  She is making some changes in the office, and one staff member has been really resistant to change. That staff member is also newer to practice, and reminds the owner of herself when she was younger. So she keeps hanging on to the person….trying to make the relationship work. Doing all kinds of things to help the person, and inspiring them in hopes of it working out.


Does this sound familiar? I know this well myself, because I’ve done it before.  I had a hire who was good for the time we had her initially. But some signs started popping up about it not working out. First it started with me wondering why things weren’t getting done. We were growing quite a bit then, so I thought to look at myself and see what I should take responsibility for. Maybe we needed to hire someone else for help. But at the same time, things weren’t getting done and mistakes were being made. But she was good before….

So I hired someone to manage my team, and helped me with a more objective perspective about each team member’s contribution. After a few months of this, my initial intuition was confirmed. It was no longer a fit, and I needed to let her go. I agonized over this. I knew I had to do it, but it was so hard. Finally I did it and I felt so bad. It was the hardest thing, especially since this person had helped me grow at the start.

But then it felt good. It opened the door for me to hire someone new who was the perfect person to take me on to the next level of my business.

Lesson #1: Someone who starts out as a good hire may not always be the right fit as you evolve and grow. As you grow as an owner, your perspective of what’s possible will shift. Sometimes dramatically. And sometimes a staff/team member who was good for you before is not ready for that kind of a growth as you now envision. You may need someone else moving forward.

Lesson #2: When you’re already wondering if you should release the relationship, follow your intuition. Unless you are ok with them being a boyfriend or girlfriend you’re hanging on to for longer than you know you should. For me, I looked back on all the energy and time I spent to make things work. It cost me time, energy, money (I hired that person to manage everyone)..and it also cost my hire’s energy too. What if I released her earlier? She would’ve been able to find something that’s even better for her sooner rather than later.

Make the decision and be done with it. Sometimes when you decide to complete the relationship, doubts can come up about whether you made the right decision. That’s when it’s as if you had an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. It looks rosier when you’re not their significant other anymore, but remember…there was a reason why you broke up.

Lesson #3: Have a hire who is like an ex? Start looking. I call it “going shopping”. Put an ad up and start looking for someone new. There’s nothing like realizing there are good people out there who are perfect for what you need now, to help you release what’s not serving you.

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