Of Mice & Men
Go with me on this; I promise that I’ll connect the dots to business.
After reading the article “How to Get Rid of Mice Without Actually Killing Them,” I wonder why anyone would spare their lives. They’re conducive to filth and structural degradation of your home! They urinate a path to destruction for others to follow. They expand their population quickly and spread disease wherever we allow them to fester.
And yet, there is an audience (including yours truly) for an article that details how you can go to great lengths to remove them without terminating them - an approach that has no guarantee of success.
We struggle to terminate a relationship as impersonal as that with a mouse, whose destruction hits so close to home (pun intended). No wonder we allow toxic relationships to perpetuate in our organizations!
Consider the similarities... But, despite the potential devastation to the team or firm, we jump through hoops trying to fix the situation. Then we attempt to isolate it, controlling the spread of destruction. We may surrender to it, rationalizing that it’s the price to pay for the perceived benefit. Eventually, the relationship terminates by one hand, or the other, leaving the organization and the remaining team to pick up the pieces.
I appreciate non-lethal traps or other solutions, but only where there is a clear path to and timeframe for success. Position yourself to be on the right end of a short rope. In my experience, no one who faced this leadership challenge says they wished they gave it more time.
Have you been there? Did you act fast enough?