Thursday, October 07, 2004

Review: We Got Fired! Harvey Mackay

Harvey has interviewed quite a few people who have become successful after being fired. There is life after being fired.
He doesn't say this outright, but after you have been fired you are going to mourn the loss of that job. That's okay, do it and accept it, then move on and do something.

He does give some really good pieces of advice.
Set goals.
Get a team of advisors and a mentor, even if it is virtual.
Work towards your dreams.
Keep a list of personal wins on your wall to build yourself up.
If you are in a position to fire someone how to do it better.

One piece of advice is contradictory. He says, near the beginning, that you should find out why you were fired, but almost every other story after that talks about how the reason they given that were fired had nothing to do with why they were fired. He even gives a statistic that 82% of companies do not do a sufficient job of sharing candid job performance review information with employees. As Jim Collins talked about in Good To Great you might have been in the wrong seat of the wrong bus. And while you may have been making great time you were going the wrong way. Get over it. You will never know the real reason you got fired but you do know some area of your life that you can improve and now is a good time to work on it, it may or may not be related to your firing but that doesn't matter you need to improve yourself in any case.

I have been reading a lot about how important integrity is to business. If integrity is at all important to you or your company firing someone is the one place where it will really count, because this is the hard place. If you cannot be up front and honest with people when you fire them then don't go into business. This is the about the hardest thing you will do and if you cannot imagine doing it right now then you won't be able to do it right later.
I am looking for the best books for people who want to start their own business. This is one of those books but not in the way you think. These are exceptional people here but you can help your people when, not if, when you will need to fire them. Take these lessons and start applying them right now, practice, visualize and role-play the firing, imagine the worst things that can happen, yes even the "going postal" scenario and work you way though them. You cannot plan for everything but planning is an essential step in being prepared.

"Honest input is something you absorb, not always something you dish out."
Integrity or honesty is the most important thing for a business, but tact is the most important thing for an employee.
"If you're in learning mode, always ask why, rather than be judgmental."
Again, this is about being tactful and communicative. Everyone builds their worldview on what they have experienced and they have experienced different things from you, so don't knock them you, didn't life their life.

Conclusion: This is good book to read if you are fired. It gives you some perspective on what has happened. You will mourn the loss of that job and you have to work through that.
2 biggest issues
It looks to me as though the biggest issue in all of these was the topic of communications. Doing it badly is so easy and sometimes you are looking at very different parts of the elephant and it is hard to overcome that, and of course there is the boss that isn't being honest that you can do nothing with so it is just something to get over and get on with your life.
The other issue is goals and goal setting. This is something you need for yourself, it will improve your life by a thousand percent. Only about 4% of people make and write down goals and of those, 80% get them accomplished in the most remarkable way.

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