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Healing the Wounds: Overcoming the Trauma of Layoffs and Revitalizing Downsized Organizations by David M. Noer

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11.2. Avoid Layoff Leadership Traps

Having confided in me that the current layoff provided a good opportunity to get rid of those "overpaid, do-nothings" in marketing, the newly appointed general manager stood on a table in the employee cafeteria and addressed his new employees. This is a paraphrase of his comments: "Since you were lucky enough to keep your jobs, I expect you to work extra hard to make this organization lean and mean. This won't be the last layoff, I'm good at cost control, and I personally intend to monitor everyone's performance." Pausing and looking over the mute and stunned audience, he sternly continued, "I won't tolerate any bitching or whining. Now let's stop wasting time and get to work."

As a consultant, I had the unenviable, ...

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