Project Wonderful

Monday, September 20, 2010

You're Fired!

Don't get me wrong, field organizers have it tough- long hours, low pay and a lot of stress. It's understandable that we are so reticent to fire them. I firmly believe that it is our job as managers to do everything we can to support our organizers and help them succeed, including letting them know just what they are getting into before they start.

However, even the most dutiful manager winds up with the occasional bad seed, as happened to one of my friends recently, and has happened to almost all of us. My friend wanted to fire an under-performing organizer, who routinely left work early, walked out during calltime and complained constantly, but was told he could not, because it's just not done.

Last year I attended the New Organizing Institute's Campaign Manager training, where they showed me the above chart by expert manager Jack Welch. Welch argues that there are TWO types of employees who should be let go: those who do NOT live by the values of the organization whether they produce results or not. Welch argues that like a cancer, a poor attitude will spread throughout an organization and eventually do more harm than good.

How many times have we experienced this? Let's face it, as an organizer, its taxing but it isn't difficult to at least be decent at your job, and its always those who work the least who complain the most, bringing others down with them.

Sure its hard to find new staff, but I would argue its harder to spend your time cleaning up after bad staff, so like Moses before me, on behalf of my friend and all my colleagues, I beg you for the sake of success, LET MY PEOPLE GO.

L'Shana Tova,

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