What a dilemma! The pandemic crisis is right in front of you. It’s the main priority. Getting to the other side. So many things to do. Preserve the cash, pivot your business model, keep your employees safe, build relationships that will lead to business on the other side, talk to bankers and accountants, figure out how the government will help you, etc. These things are the obvious priorities. They are hard, they are too much for one person to handle and it’s what you have to focus on. So you’re thinking “maybe I can kick the can down the road on the toxic individual that is causing so much commotion right now…..and deal with it later”
It’s not one “or” the other, it’s a one “and” the other.
This is a principle outlined in Built To Last by Jim Collins (I find myself referring to Jim Collins more and more each day during this pandemic). It’s the called the “Tyranny of the ‘Or,” and the “Genius of the ‘And.’” Collins noticed that the Great Companies never thought through things using an either/or approach. Always approached things with “how do we do both” Either/Or thought processes lead to poorly thought out decisions and then the repercussions of them, which down the road become extremely painful. Toxic behavior or the crisis, this is one of those “And” situations.
A crisis like this requires alignment, unity, trust, selfless behavior and clear thinking.
This is difficult in ordinary times, more difficult now, but absolutely more important. As a CEO or Owner you can’t do it all right now, you have to build trust, use trust, and rely on trust to get to the other side. All hands-on-deck, full trust in the intentions of others, open dialogue on most everything, commitment to decisions, accountable to actions, and get to the other side. (if you haven’t noticed I’ve just reviewed Pat Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team, someone else I find myself referring to often in this crisis).
Toxic Individuals need to be eliminated or isolated.
Toxic Individuals don’t care about trust. They manipulate it to serve their own selfish ends, whether they know it our not. People need to be aligned with them, not the organization. They create havoc to personally benefit from havoc. They make every little thing more difficult for others. There is a book based on a study of this, but you probably don’t have time to read it. The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton. Don’t read it now, save it for after the crisis. But here is a one sentence summary. Toxic individuals, no matter the level their contribution, should be eliminated from your organization, and if not, isolated from others. In other words, no leadership responsibility. Work alone or leave.
Toxic individuals fester dysfunction and multiply the complexity of dealing with the current crisis.
Have a situation like this? Book a meeting on how to proceed. No Charge.