Fire Your “C” Players Now

Posted on by in Business, Growth, Leadership, Managing Talent, Time Management

As a strategy and growth guy, I’m always looking for those few key decisions or distinctions that a company can make that will result in significant growth gains–and this is one of them. I can’t tell you how frequently I have to help business owners and senior executives do what they know they ought to do–let someone go. And when they do, they almost always say, “I can’t believe I waited so long to do this. What a difference it makes having the right person in the right position!”

And of all the people who do a great job at helping companies hire great peopleTopgradingBookCovBrad Smart of Topgrading is one of the best.  And in a recent blog post he made the comment that you have in this title, “Fire Your ‘C’ Players Now.” You can read it in it’s entirety by following this link. But for those of you who won’t here are a few highlights.

If you have a few people whom you’re hesitant to move because sometimes they’re good but at other times they’re not and you keep wondering, “Should I keep them?” here are a few ideas.

1. Do your own self assessment. Rate each of your people as an A, B, of C player. If they’re not an “A”, ask, “Do they have ‘A’ potential (or ‘A’ potential in a different position in your company)?. If they’re not an “A” or don’t have “A” potential it’s probably time to move them out.

2. Conduct a team assessment. Rather than you rating alone, you may want to take 3 or 4 of your top “A” players and have them rate the other team members’ performance and potential. They may see things you don’t. Plus, using 3 or 4 other people tends to add more objectivity to the process.

3. Use a Topgrading Team Audit. You can read the article for a more detailed description of this process, but the basic idea is to use the same tandem interviewing process you would utilize for a new potential hire, with your internal people. However, instead of doing external checks, you would do internal checks.

That said, regardless of what method you use, Brad Smart’s comment, “Fire your ‘C’ players Now,” is great advice. Why? Because once you’ve cleared out a “C” player, you’ve just created space for an “A” player. And “A” players by definition are people who make things happen–which is why doing this is such a strategic decision.

Remember, there’s always an opportunity cost associated with poor performers. It’s the cost between what an “A” player could be producing (along with a reduction in your time) and what your “C” player is actually producing. If you take the time to crunch the numbers, I think you’ll end up agreeing with Brad. You really can’t afford to keep that “C” player on the team.

So, what are you going to do with your “C” players?

To your accelerated success!

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