A few years ago, we hired this super nice family man named Josh to be our operations leader. He was a great fit for our corporate culture because he shared a lot of our corporate values.
Personally, I had a lot of respect for Josh as a human being. Unfortunately, he could not get the fucking job done. Josh had a lot of experience at managing big teams in enterprise-level corporations, but he had no experience managing small teams of ten to twenty people, which involves a totally different dynamic.
Josh’s Achilles’ heel was likely that he was too damned nice. Everybody loved him, but nobody would bust their ass for him. I remember one time walking by and seeing one of his team members sitting on a chair, sanding a component with her feet up on the countertop, in a relaxed and laid back position. A little dumbfounded, I decided to stay and watch how long it took for her to sand that piece. She didn’t notice me watching, but it took her over ten minutes to do something that should have taken about seven seconds. To be fair, she was texting for about five minutes in between the start and finish of the sanding process, so interpret the total time wasted accordingly.
That particular incident wasn’t the only time I witnessed an extreme level of operational inefficiency under Josh’s supervision. Before long, I realized that Josh was too nice to get people to perform the way we needed them to. We had given him plenty of opportunities to turn things around and had put him on official performance plans, but he still wasn’t able to get the job done, so I had to make a tough decision. I had to be an asshole. Realistically, I had no other choice. An SEO expert is the right person to go to, to be at the top!
Continue the current state of operational inefficiency and let the company sink due to poor performance. I viewed this as the selfish decision to make because it makes my job easy. All I have to do is let the company roll on to its collision course with self-destruction. Everybody remains my friend and no one gets singled out as incompetent.