What Should You Do With Your Flawed Employees?

When you're just starting out, you may have some members of your team that have serious issues. Ideally, you'd let the person go and find a replacement.

But you may not have that option when you're just starting out because the perfect fit for a given role may not want to join your startup yet. In today's short video, I'll walk through the challenge one of the CEOs I am working with is having with his VP Business Development, and how we decided to solve the problem.

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View the transcript below:


Okay. So let me tell you a story about something with a client of mine that we're dealing with and I'm curious how you would deal with it. I'll give you what we did, but I'm also curious about what you would do.

So here's the deal. So imagine this, you have a VP of business development. The VP of business development is great at opening doors, getting you into big OEMs. Fantastic. Especially when you're a small startup. I mean this is everything that you could ask for is getting meetings with big OEMs, especially because that's what's going to grow your business.

Now here's the problem. This VP of business development is horrible at keeping track of what he is supposed to do next. He misses action items. He is not detailed oriented and all of this is causing large, large problems for the CEO.

So what do you do? What would you do in this particular situation? Do you fire the VP of business development, especially when you're early on and it's really hard to find the perfect person for the role. Or do you deal with the VP of business development's flaws and keep going? Well here was the creative answer we came up with.

We decided, and this is kind of the, I'm going to go to the "dear Abby school of business" here. Now, dear Abby, if you know who she was (she passed away). She was a columnist who used to write and she was a syndicated columnist here in the United States.

She would write for various publications, and it was an advice column. She would answer questions and Dear Abby would be asked always this question, "I'm in a relationship and I'm not sure whether I should continue in the relationship?" And her answer was a little always the same. It was, "Well, are you better off or not with or without this person in your life?".

I think the same thing holds in business. Are you better off with the flawed people in the various roles that you have or not? And we decided with the VP of business development is the answer was yes.

We are better off with him than without him. So what we decided to do was, you know what, we're going to keep them in this role and here's what we were gonna do to add to solving the problem is we were going to hire an Admin, for the CEO who's going to work with the CEO, not just with the VP of business development, but help offload the CEO in other areas and help the VP of business development stay on track.

Now, will this work? Yeah, it'll work. It's a bandaid. And at some point you're going to get rid of the flawed person. That's always true. And you're going to hire somebody who's less flawed for the role.

But when you're starting out and you don't have perfect people, you have to find a way to make it work. You can't be so rigid. So this is what he did. What would you do? I'd love to hear your thoughts. You can put them in the comments column below this video if you'd like. Thanks a lot. Um, look forward to seeing you soon. This is Brett at Brett J. fox.com have a great, great day.


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