Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Ruthless Compassion is the Name of the Game

Out of all the myriad tasks that being a boss entails - the hardest and most uncomfortable, the most dreaded - is having to let someone go.
We have a staff of 7 people - so as you can imagine, it's pretty intimate. When someone becomes part of the team, they become PART of the team. We're a community.
I operate my business from two very strong archetypes - the mother and the hunter.
In my true nature, I am both nurturing and ruthless. If that sounds like a paradox - believe me, it is. I am often at odds with myself - to be in business, I have to be willing to be ruthless and determinate, I have to make the decisions that are best for the growth and integrity of the business. Sometimes this means doing things that others find "cold". That's just the way the cookie crumbles. And sometimes I hesitate on making decisions because the mother in me knows that someone's feelings will be hurt.
Every time I have made the choice to let someone go - I have ruminated and stressed for days over it; I defend them in my mind, I doubt my decision, I think I am being unreasonable etc... In truth - I don't want to be "unliked", I don't want to be the bearer of bad news and put someone out of work.
But as my consultant once said to me - "People ask to be fired, whether they know it or not".
In most cases this is true. I think that sometimes people grow unhappy in their jobs and don't even realize it. In my experience, when someone is unhappy in their job their work performance goes down the toilet (obviously).

What am I saying here? Perhaps I am defending myself. Perhaps I am clearing out my conscience. Really I think I am stating what feels like a challenge: building a business from these two very strong roles in myself - being the nurturing, caring "mother" and also being the ruthless "hunter" who will do whatever it takes to manifest her dream.
In the end - balance is what always seems to rule, finding the happy medium, being "both".
I aim to be fair, and not to make irrational decisions. But I tell ya - some nights I lie awake in bed with my stomach in knots over the things I know I have to do.

2 comments:

VeganLisa said...

Eden,
It sounds like you did what you needed to do. I hope that your decision has made sleeping much easier.
If you ever need part-time work at the bakery let me know. I hope you are doing well. I'm already dreaming about plans for the second annual Totally Fabulous Vegan Bakeoff. I hope you'll be involved again.

Mishal said...

if you ever need office help.. HIRE ME!!!! :o) *Staff Dicounts on Cookies - Yum!*