9Tough Conversations and DecisionsWhy We Have People Who Would Be Better Off as Customers than Employees

Executives owe it to the organization and their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming people in important jobs.

Peter Drucker, management consultant1

One of the most important ways to ensure the overall health of an organization or of individual departments is to hold your people accountable. The key is to do it respectfully and honestly. Although this idea is rarely disputed, the reality is too many managers are not holding poor performers accountable because they are not willing to have tough conversations and make tough decisions.

Due to a lack of accountability, customers are forced to deal with employees who do not give a damn about them or the business. In addition, those employees who don't really want to be there affect the mindset and performance of all those they work with. As I pointed out in Chapter 9, the performance and attitude of many of your staff is dictated by whether there is recognition for your best people and consequences for your worst. I would suggest it is the lack of accountability that is most detrimental to a team or an individual. This seems to be especially prominent when the poor performance is due to a person not doing things the right way or not adhering to the company values.

During my speaking engagements, I often ask the audience to think about the poorest-performing person, the one who is not a good team member, does not meet ...

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