Every big problem was at one time a wee disturbance.—Scottish proverb

I had never fired a partner. Until today. The time for talking, threatening, pleading, and procrastinating was past.

Today I would fire not just my partner, but my mentor.

It was natural for my partner to believe the conversation we were about to have would never come. After all, he had been a senior executive when we worked in separate divisions of a different firm, and he had thrown his considerable support behind me as I worked my way up the corporate ladder. Fast forward 10 years and my mentor had joined my firm believing this would be his last hurrah, and that we would accomplish great things together. Then his performance lapsed, and, because of our history, ...

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