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3 Things I Learned Last Week in Leadership

Last week I wrote a very brief, one sentence post about the terrible day I was having. Mainly it was because I had a couple problems with employees and the frustration and agony over some hard decisions that were needing to be made was weighing on me.

Long story short, the more minor employee issue was resolved with a conversation Friday afternoon; funny how often having a simple conversation relieves stress from our lives. Unfortunately the larger problem took much more energy to resolve and involved the firing of an assistant manager that had worked for the company for three years and the rehiring of the same employee the next day.

Rather than me getting into the gory details let me elaborate on a few of the lessons I learned through the whole deal.

Lesson #1 - When there is a problem be sure you gather all the facts before you make decisions.
When I first caught wind of the developing situation I reacted to the information rather than gathering more information. This led to decisions being made on the basis of some misunderstanding and confusion. I never spoke directly to the person involved to get his side of the story. That was a mistake.

Lesson #2 - Be sure that you are emotionally stable enough to make a sound decision.
We ran into trouble last week because all of the parties involved were emotionally and physically exhausted. Then, rather than slowing down and make a sound decision, people reacted out of their exhaustion. I should be old enough know to know that I am crabbier and less patient when I am tired. Making difficult decisions is hard enough without trying to do it without the full compliment of mental and emotional capacities.

Lesson #3 - Don't stuff frustrations and expect that the problems will just go away.
My rehiring of the employee on Saturday doesn't mean that all the problems are gone. There are still expectations that will need to be met and conversations that will need to take place going forward. The goal however, is to make sure that open communication is undertaken concerning each individual issue before the dam of stuffed emotion explodes again.
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