Fire Yourself

Write the job description for the right person to be in your job today. What does the company need to be successful from this individual? And what are the qualities and skills required?

Bracken Darrell, CEO of Logitech, described firing himself as an opportunity to renew his leadership of the company. At a program hosted by C Level Community outside Boston, Bracken described the “newcomer’s advantage” as more clearly seeing the opportunities for change and improvement. While acknowledging the value of experience – you don’t know what you don’t know – Bracken argued that the newcomer can more clearly see what is no longer working and where the world is going.

He asks new Logitech employees to write him a note within their first 90 days on the job describing what they would change about the company. The newcomer’s view of the company continuously refreshes Bracken’s understanding of the company.

The image of the leader standing alone as “father of the organization” is fading. Having a coach is widely accepted as a sign of strength rather than a sign of a weak, "you need to improve", performance. Firing yourself can bring fresh insights into the company, but you can also re-examine what the company needs from the person in the role you have today.

While finding a new CEO could be the answer, changing how you get your work done or adjusting the focus of your work may do the trick. If the company needs you to be a better outside communicator, get that support in place. If you are great with clients but don’t like driving the day to day operations of the company, get someone in place as COO who loves doing that.

You would not be in a leadership role if you were not confident, probably overconfident, in your skills.
You probably believe you are the best possible leader for the company. In fact, you will be a stronger leader if you work with your key advisors and a coach, if you have one, and fire yourself. Put yourself in the hiring position. Get clear about where the new leader must take the company. Profile the key skills required from the leader and the leadership team. Should there be changes to the leadership team or structure to give the company the best chance for success?

If you re-hire yourself with a clearer vision for the future of the company and what the company needs from you, you will have the “new leader advantage.”

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Enrich our community’s discussion of these topics by sharing your experiences and your point of view.

Summer on the Vineyard
It was a beautiful summer in New England. Beautiful people and regular people ferry over to Martha’s Vineyard for the wonderful beaches. Don’t mention sharks!

Here is a dory riding at anchor off the beach of Vineyard Haven.

One comment on “Fire Yourself”

  1. Rick,

    I think the new article about "firing yourself" is outstanding as it deals with the real issue of getting settled into a job such that one can become stale in accepting current operations rather than seeing and pursuing new opportunities. Unfortunately a leader can become settled in his way, and accustomed to the status quo. Same is true of his acceptance of personal performance. A fresh look or awareness is very helpful. Firing yourself might be the way to do it.

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