Your Team Failed. Now What?

A ship is safe in the harbour, but that’s not what a ship is for. Eventually your team is going to have a set-back. Now what?

How to Pick Up Your Team After a Fall


They Would Rather Watch Paint Dry

According to this Inc. article, your employees would rather watch paint dry, move to the Antarctic, or get a mullet haircut than got to another of your meetings. It’s an interesting infographic, and the alternatives to even having meetings are worth considering.


Before you consider throwing out the baby with the bathwater, consider first if there’s anything you could be doing better, including running a more effective meeting itself. Or maybe work on the underlying trust, conflict, and commitment issues, a lá Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

17 % of Your Employees Would Rather Watch Paint Dry

Why Delegating Work to Your Staff Is Good For Them

I believe delegation saves leaders and their organization time & money in the long run. But what about the poor, put-upon, over-worked, under-paid employee? Well, turns out it’s good for them too.

I’m assuming of course that your staff wants to get better. That they want to gain mastery of their skills so they can come to work every day and do their best. That they want the autonomy that comes with being trusted and having a good track record. That they are mostly willing to prove themselves and have the evidence that they are trust-worthy, dependable, valuable to the company. They may even want to prove they are ready to be promoted.

Otherwise we need to have a different conversation about hiring the right people.

This is what good delegation does. It’s not about getting the tasks you don’t like doing off your desk. Although there is something to be said for finding somebody that enjoys and does well those things that you don’t. If we’re honest, we can’t be good at everything. It’s important we focus on the things we are good at.

It teaches them to prioritize their work, plan their day, and make them more effective. But what of the work that doesn’t get done? Some things might get delegated “to the floor”. Bonus points if they stop doing low or no-value activities because they’re busier with high-value (to the company) work.

This is part of your role. To help your people work out what they need to delegate to their own staff (if they have any), or not do it at all. If and you and your team are not getting the most important things done first, then you probably aren’t getting the most important things done.

Wouldn’t you rather get the least important things not done? I can hear the screams: “No Bernie! We have to get everything done!” Well, that’s not going to happen. So let’s deal with reality instead.

Question for the Comments: What’s your worst or best experience being delegated to?

Other Delegation Articles You Might Be Interested In:
You Need to Get Good At This To Be a Good Leader
Outstanding Entrepreneurs Do This Well
What Is Accountability?

Bernie works as a leadership and business coach, consultant, and facilitator. He believes there are simple things outstanding leaders do well, and that not to do anything about bad leadership once you know about it is abuse. Check out what he does with

Fire the Creeps and Bums

Fire the Creeps and Bums

Firing a non-productive or anti-social (in the destructive sense) member of a team actually increases the team’s productivity by 30 to 40%. That means that on a team size of 4, productivity will stay the same or get better even if you don’t replace them,  Yet your payroll drops by a quarter.

On a larger team then you’re making money by getting rid of the bully / degenerate  because of the bump to productivity. If they’re at the managerial or executive level your return on investment is even higher. The higher up in an organization the greater their impact, positive or negative.

Cost of a Bad Hire

If that doesn’t convince you then consider the cost of make a bad hire, or keeping them around. It starts at five times their annual salary and goes up from there, depending on their impact within the organization. Up to 27 times.

Too many leaders are afraid to replace, move, or let go somebody they know needs it. Perhaps they’re in a key position. Perhaps they’re a family member (tough one for sure). Perhaps they’re a loyal, long-term employee whose performance has dropped in recent years.

So decide now what’s best for the business and all the people in it. If you can’t do what’s right, maybe the problem is you.

Let the Facts Judge Them

I like John Spence’s approach as outlined in his book “Awesomely Simple“. You’ll need four sheets of paper: On the first one have thee employee write  what they believe is expected of them. It’s important that expectations are clear and agreed, and that they have agreed deadlines.

On the second they write what they need (training, staff, support, equipment) to accomplish what they’ve committed to. On the third what their reward should be if they accomplish their goals. On the fourth, what they believe the consequences of failure should be.

The key to this approach is regular (weekly) face-to-face review. Regular review is where accountability happens. We don’t need to judge our employees. Presenting the facts will do that for us.

What Took You So Long?

A common reaction when they finally do get asked to leave? “What took you so long?” Everybody else knows what needs to be done. Why don’t you?

What’s the hardest fire you’ve had to make? Do you have somebody you need to let go but just keep putting it off? Let us know in the comments.