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The One-Minute Layoff

watchWe have a friend who was recently let go from a company for whom he had worked for nearly twenty years. The entire conversation with his supervisor took less than a minute.

To clarify the situation, he was one of twenty or so people who lost his job that day at the local branch of a large company. This scenario was repeated over and over again at all the branches of that company as they responded to low earnings.

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So here’s our first question:

Why do corporations treat humans inhumanely?

In most businesses, people are the most precious asset. So why do corporations act like they’re not. And let’s be clear here – corporations don’t do anything. They can’t. It’s humans who treat humans like this.

It’s the managers within those companies who are doing this. It’s probably their managers, or their manager’s manager, who insists that it be done.

Managers within companies are being asked to do more and more with less and less. So some people get laid off. In many, if not most cases, they’re good employees who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

They’re reasonable people who can understand that sometimes tough choices have to be made. They’ve cared for their employer; they expect their employer to give them the same respect.

Which leads to our next question:

Why do companies burn bridges?

We’re told from a young age that we shouldn’t burn bridges. We get upset when our employees fail to give us notice. We think we deserve that much respect.

Don’t our employees deserve respect too?

We also believe that you have to understand the bigg picture. These employees you’re letting go today may be your best candidates tomorrow – if you handle it properly.

These people may be customers, too. They may know people who are your customers. What are you doing to your reputation when you show no respect for your employees?

And what are you saying to the employees who remain? Aren’t you saying that people don’t matter? That the only thing that’s important is this quarter’s earnings?

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He deserved more

Doesn’t an employee who’s been with a company for nearly twenty years deserve more than a minute from his manager when he gets laid off? We think so!

We think he deserved a conversation at least twenty times that long! How about a minute for every year he devoted? Is that asking too much? We don’t think so!

We think he deserved a complete explanation about what was going on and why his position was being eliminated.

We think he deserved to be reassured that he hadn’t done anything wrong.

We think he deserved to know if it was possible that his position would be available again if the company turned things around.

We think he deserved his manager’s best guess about the likelihood of that happening.

We think he deserved to know what resources were available to him to find another job or career, even if the company wasn’t willing to pay for it.

We think he deserved a written letter of recommendation that he could use to find that next position.

We think he deserved to be thanked for all that he had done.

We think he deserved to be treated like a human being!

We think managing is a tough job. But don’t make it tougher by treating people inhumanely and burning bridges. Give them the respect they deserve. Otherwise, you’ll lose more in the long run, as a manager and as a human being. Oh, and one more thing, your company will lose even more than you do.

What do you think?

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Becoming An Entrepreneurial Employee

employeesBigg success is life on your own terms. Work is one of the five elements of bigg success. That’s our focus today.

Just a generation or so ago, entrepreneurs weren’t highly regarded. The thought was that they were people who no one else would hire.

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Now it seems that most people want to be an entrepreneur. People think that climbing the corporate ladder robs you of your individuality. You become a mindless worker bee.

People associate owning your own business with freedom. It can be liberating. Picture your typical day owning your own business …

You’re the last one in every morning. It’s not like anyone’s going to fire you. Of course, you’re the first one out the door at the end of the day. You’re the boss! You take long lunches. Most days, when the weather’s nice, you’re out on the golf course.

If only it were true!

The reality for many entrepreneurs – especially those with an early stage business – is you’re the first to arrive in the morning and the last one out the door at night. If you take lunch at all, you may eat it at your desk while you keep working. You’re not out playing golf most afternoons. In fact, you’re doing well when you can squeeze in a little play time over the weekend.

Do you remember the BTO song, Takin’ Care of Business? They said that self-employed people “work hard at doing nothing all day. Obviously they had never spent time with a start-up entrepreneur!

It can be very stressful, particularly when you take on employees and have to meet payroll. You have fixed costs to cover every month. There are so many hats to wear, so many things to do, so much to keep up on. It’s easy to feel like you’re buried in work.

Not exactly the fairy tale we often think about.

We’re purposefully painting a bleak picture. Owning your own business definitely has its upsides, but it isn’t for everyone. Some people are much happier keeping their day job.

However, we think there are synergies between the two. Here are six tips to become an entrepreneurial employee:

Select the right career

Bigg success is life on your own terms. It starts internally. Think about the three P’s – passions, preferences and proficiencies. We have a great personality test in The Bigg Success Store that will help you with this. It’s free!

Now you’re ready to look outside yourself. Entrepreneurs look at 2 C’s – customers and competitors. As an entrepreneurial employee, your customers are potential employers. Your competition is other people who do what you do. You’re looking for a mismatch – too many employers and too few potential hires.

Add value

Don’t settle for being average and ordinary. Set yourself apart from all the other potential hires by becoming an expert in your chosen field. Consistently deliver superior results and you’ll become invaluable.

Solve problems

Take on projects that no one else wants. Be positive. See solutions where others see only problems. If you solve problems, money will follow.

Work!

Entrepreneurs work long hours, especially in their early days. Entrepreneurial employees do the same. If you can’t work a little longer, work a little harder. Spend less time chatting and more time being productive.

Embrace change

Change creates opportunity. So welcome change. Continually reinvent yourself. Think about yourself at this time last year. If you don’t have any new skills, if you can’t add anything more, if you aren’t producing better results … why should you get paid more?

Retain earnings

Save means safe so save and invest. Entrepreneurs retain earnings to fund growth. You’ll save to give yourself the liberty to get out of a bad situation as a last resort. And to help you survive through the inevitable downturns and associated layoffs.

You can choose to be entrepreneurial in the traditional sense or by going the corporate route. You choose because bigg success is life on your own terms.

Do you think employees can be entrepreneurial?

Let us know by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG (2444) or e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

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Thanks for reading today’s post. Please join us next time when we’ll discuss a new trend that may affect your retirement. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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No Limits

bigg-success-profiles.jpgWe’re introducing a new feature today called Bigg Success Profiles. We want to feature members of our community talking about what life on your own terms means to them. Today on The Bigg Success Show, we talked with Pavel Sokolovsky. Pavel is one of the founders of an exciting new business, Meet Me at Green. Let’s get to the conversation …

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marylynn
Welcome to The Bigg Success Show, Pavel.

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pavelThanks Mary-Lynn. Thanks George. I’m a long-time listener and first-time caller!

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marylynnWe love talking about life on your own terms and we love hearing the stories of members of our community. So let’s kick it off, Pavel. What does life on your own terms mean to you?

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pavelTo me, life on my own terms has a lot to do with ambition. I believe I’m a pretty ambitious young man and I wouldn’t want anybody to put a limit on what I can and cannot do professionally or socially, for that matter. One of the reasons I went toward small business, and not corporations as many of my classmates did, is because I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed by my level at the corporation. Whether you’re a first-year associate, analyst, or whatever it might be, it tends to come with a lot of strings attached and affects whether or not your ideas are taken seriously. Now I’m sure there are people who break this mold – there are all-stars – but this tends to be the case. So that’s why I went into a small business. I wanted to be able to use my potential to its fullest. I want to explore my limits and be the best business person I can be. Starting my own business allows me to do that because I don’t have a boss saying, “No – you can’t do this project.” I only have the market telling me what it will and will not accept, which is great.

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georgeThat’s awesome, Pavel. Your classmates were going off to Fortune 500 companies and large consulting firms. Did they ever question you or ridicule you for going off on your own?

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pavelLuckily, they’ve all been very supportive of me. They all know that I’m very entrepreneurial. So they tend to accept that. They have their day jobs – from 8 to 6 or 9 to 5, whatever it may be – and I work what I’ll call my extended hours!

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george
I like the way you said that!

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pavelBut we’re after slightly different things. It’s understood that there’s going to be more than one way to get what we need out of life.

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marylynnEverybody for their own terms, right? Pavel, what would you say is your biggest challenge to living life on your own terms right now?

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pavelWhen you’re starting a business, it’s not the same as a regular corporate job because your cash flow is a little more unpredictable. Many times, you’ll find yourself pinching pennies because you didn’t get paid this week. But you keep your head up because you know if you achieve your goals, the money will naturally follow. While your cash flow is tight, you just have to accept it, not spend it, save up, invest in your business and hope for the best!

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marylynnSo Pavel, what are you doing right now to overcome this challenge?

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pavelI try to save up a little in a slush fund to treat myself every now and then and to keep my sanity. I like to go out with my friends. I also have a hobby purchasing books on Amazon. I just can’t stop!

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georgeNice plug! Ca-ching! Now Pavel, what are you doing that’s really fun – either at work or in your personal time?

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pavelMy day job is fun. Meet Me at Green has been fun – programming the web site, organizing the people involved and trying to recruit more members. As this community grows, so does my site and its usefulness to all the members. I’m sure you expected an answer like, “I love to go skiing in Aspen on the weekend” but, in reality, when I work on Meet Me at Green, I am having fun. That’s the best part of it.

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georgeFortunately, or unfortunately, we can totally relate to what you’re saying. It occurs to me, Pavel, you are really into green – whether it be money or the environment!

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pavelThe money is definitely not my number one goal, but it’s a good way to validate what you’re doing.

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marylynnWe wish you the best of luck with your business, Meet Me at Green. Can anybody join?

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pavelWe’re focusing on businesses that are involved in green products and services. But if you have a passion for green, if energy efficiency or environmental awareness is important to you, then please sign up! Membership is currently free.

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Thanks Pavel for sharing what life on your own terms means to you.

How are YOU living life on your own terms?

Please share your story with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com. We may feature you on an upcoming Bigg Success Profiles show.

We thank you so much for reading our post today!

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Please join us next time when we'll talk about the most important thing to find before you start a business. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Can We Talk You Out of Owning Your Own Business?

questions Intuit, the makers of QuickBooks software, conducted a study of working adults [doc] not long ago. They found that 67 percent think about quitting their jobs regularly or constantly, while 72 percent said they want to start their own business. The number one reason cited for this was to be more passionate about their work.

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The participants were asked who inspired them: Donald Trump (38%) and Hugh Hefner (34%) were the top choices for men; Oprah Winfrey received 66% of the women’s vote.

That response made us think – there are misperceptions of what it means to own a business; what an entrepreneur faces day-to-day. There’s the Hollywood version, but it often doesn’t reflect the real world.

5 common myths about owning your own business


#1 – I won’t have to answer to a boss.

While technically true, it’s not accurate in practice. The reality is that, as a business owner, you answer to every customer by you and your firm. You answer to your banker if you borrow money. The government will require you to do certain things by certain times. As a business owner, you won’t have a boss; you’ll have many bosses!

#2 – I set my own hours.
You’ve probably seen or heard the ads. Just buy this business opportunity – you’ll hardly have to work and the money will just pour in. If only it worked that way! You may enjoy a great deal of flexibility as a business owner. However, you’ll probably work more than you ever imagined, especially in the early stages of your business.

#3 – I can get my employees to do the grunt work.
Many new business owners – formerly part of the corporate world – have trouble adjusting to the lack of resources that are inherent in many start-ups. They were used to having “people” who did certain things. Start-ups can’t afford extra people; many can’t afford people at all! You’ll have to get used to doing a lot of things, if not everything, yourself, even the dirty work.

#4 – I’ll make more money.

Start-ups consume money; there often isn’t much to spare. You may not get a regular paycheck at first. You’ll have to build up the business to afford that “luxury”.

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georgeWhen I was younger, I couldn’t find anyone willing to pay me what I thought I was worth. So I started my own business … I quickly realized that I couldn’t afford to pay me what I thought I was worth!

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#5 – I’ll have less stress than I do with my job.

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marylynn As a first-time entrepreneur, I’ve learned that stress hits from many angles – clients with deadlines, so much work to get done, and worries when things don’t go as planned. I’ve learned to be much tougher mentally and emotionally.

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All of this reminds us of Jackson Browne’s song, The Load Out …“They’re the first to come, and the last to leave, working for that minimum wage.”

In the song, he’s talking about roadies. But we wonder … couldn’t he be describing start-up entrepreneurs?

When your business is in the start-up phase, it’s like a newborn baby. You have to nurture it and care for it until it reaches the point where it doesn’t need you so much anymore. Prepare yourself for a five-year horizon before you start.

If starting a business doesn’t sound so good anymore, we feel like we’ve done our job. You won’t face the financial, and more importantly, the emotional turmoil that comes with a start-up.

However, if you’re now more determined than ever to start a business, you’ve passed a critical test. You can’t be talked out of it. You’ve peered beyond the popular and romantic view of business ownership. You’re starting to see it as it really is. You’re ready to become an entrepreneur!

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Next time, we’ll discuss the art of knowing yourself. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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3 Strategies Small Businesses Can Use to Gain an Advantage in Bad Times

A recent study by Intuit, the software giant behind QuickBooks, Quicken, and TurboTax, found that three-fourths of small business owners expect to grow this year, in spite of all the talk about a recession, corporate layoffs, and consumers cutting back.

Now, it’s probably safe to say that small business owners are a relatively optimistic group. Part of their optimism, though, comes from that fact that two-thirds of the people surveyed said they had survived a recession before. They’ve done it by putting their customers first and focusing on their finances.

georgeWhen I first started studying entrepreneurship, my perception was that large companies created the jobs. Our colleges train us to work in bigg business. It’s true that large companies tend to hire a lot of people during boom times, as do small companies. But during tough economic times, large companies cut back. Interestingly, small companies tend to pretty much hold their own.

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marylynn If you’re keeping an eye on the news, you see that a lot of large companies are cutting marketing and even customer service. They’re cutting jobs and even entire departments. They’re streamlining.

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As numerous studies have shown, the net effect of this is that, over the course of the business cycle, almost all new jobs come from small businesses.

Opportunities created by large businesses for small businesses in bad times

As large companies make cuts, astute small businesses can gain an advantage by using any or all of the following three strategies:

#1 – Turn bigg companies into your customers.
They’re reviewing their operations. If what they cut is what you do – it’s your service – market to them! They may still need that service in some capacity … take advantage of it!

#2 – Recruit their talent
A lot of the people they’re laying off are very talented. These are people that you may have never been able to get before. Recruit that talent. Provide them with a nice place to fall.

They may look for something more stable or some place where they feel more of a sense of ownership. Your business could be the answer they’re looking for!

#3 – Go after the large company’s small customers.
With the cuts they’re making, they have few resources to take care of their customers. It’s the old 80/20 rule – they’re likely to super-serve the 20% of their customers that constitute 80% of their sales. Then they may cut back on service for all the rest.

Go after these customers that are facing reduced service. They may be a small account to a large company, but they may be one of your biggest customers!

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The Bigg Success Show Expert Sessions – Engaging Your Employees

Expert Session - Engaging Employees

Featuring: Karen Evenson & Larry Kammien of Leadership & Organization Solutions, LLC

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*The 3 levels of measurement for employee engagement

*How to engage people before you hire them

*How to motivate across generational lines

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*What thousands of employees have told Karen and Larry that you need to know

*The most powerful motivator in recognition

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a daily 5-minute lesson & laugh on personal and professional development.

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Women Entrepreneurs Build Value by Staying True to Their Values

By Bigg Success Staff
05-07-08

Bigg Success in Business

connecting 

Studies show that more and more women are starting their own businesses. They’re jumping off the corporate ladder into their own business.

They want to build a company of which they can be proud. So says Margaret Heffernan, who has run five businesses herself, in her book How She Does It: How Women Entrepreneurs are Changing the Rules of Business.

These women entrepreneurs place values before anything else. In many cases, they may not even have an idea for a business, but they know how they want it to be run! They start with their values and the culture implied by it. Then they seek the right business opportunity.

The driving force behind this is the inspirational dissatisfaction derived from their experiences. They’re tired of the culture in which they’ve spent most of their careers. They relish the thought of creating a business that offers the environment and the opportunities that they see lacking in the corporate world.

Here’s the lesson for all of us – these women are building successful businesses because people are attracted to their culture. It turns out that people respond well to companies that put people first!

In the coming years, attracting and retaining quality people will be one of the biggest challenges faced by all companies. Women entrepreneurs have figured that out and are winning the game of employee recruitment and retention.

They’re in it for the long haul. They put less emphasis on this quarter’s earnings or building up a company quickly so it can be sold off. Instead, they’re focusing on building long-term value and a company with which people are proud to be associated.

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"Leadership is Action, Not Position"

By Bigg Success Staff
04-15-08

Timeless Principles

leadership 

This great quote comes from Donald H. McGannon, who ran the Westinghouse Broadcasting Corporation and served as President of the National Urban League.

No one can declare you the “leader”; you have to earn it. No position will make you a leader; you have to have followers.

People follow people, not positions. They respect people whom they trust. They tag along with people in whom they believe. They follow people who have demonstrated they deserve to be followed.

That requires action, which doesn’t require any certain “position”. You have to take action that inspires people to follow you. Nobody follows anybody who doesn’t do anything; people follow people who do something of significance.

You can’t just talk about it; you have to do it. When people see you accomplishing something worthwhile, they will follow.

Yes, leadership is action, not position. Anyone can be a leader. You just have to do things that make people want to follow you.

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“Leadership is Action, Not Position”

By Bigg Success Staff
04-15-08

Timeless Principles

leadership 

This great quote comes from Donald H. McGannon, who ran the Westinghouse Broadcasting Corporation and served as President of the National Urban League.

No one can declare you the “leader”; you have to earn it. No position will make you a leader; you have to have followers.

People follow people, not positions. They respect people whom they trust. They tag along with people in whom they believe. They follow people who have demonstrated they deserve to be followed.

That requires action, which doesn’t require any certain “position”. You have to take action that inspires people to follow you. Nobody follows anybody who doesn’t do anything; people follow people who do something of significance.

You can’t just talk about it; you have to do it. When people see you accomplishing something worthwhile, they will follow.

Yes, leadership is action, not position. Anyone can be a leader. You just have to do things that make people want to follow you.

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

Related posts 

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The One Minute Manager and Corporate Layoffs

By Wynn Bigg
Bigg Success Contributer
03-11-08

Wynn Bigg Today

stop_watch 

I have a friend who was recently let go by a firm for who he had worked for nearly twenty years. He said that the entire conversation with his supervisor took less than a minute.

To clarify the situation, he was one of twenty or so people who lost his job that day at the local branch of a large company. This scenario was repeated over and over again at all the branches of that company as they responded to lower quarterly earnings.

So here’s my first question –

Why do corporations treat humans inhumanely?
In most businesses, people are the most precious asset. So why do corporations act like they’re not. And let’s be clear here – corporations don’t do anything. They can’t. It’s humans who treat humans like this.

It’s the managers within those companies who are doing this. It’s probably their managers, or their manager’s manager, who insists it be done.

Managers within companies are being asked to do more and more with less and less. So some people get laid off. In many, if not most cases, they’re good employees who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

They’re reasonable people who can understand that sometimes tough choices have to be made. They’ve cared for their employer; they expect their employer to give them the same respect.

Which leads to my next question –

Why do companies burn bridges?
We’re told from a young age that we shouldn’t burn bridges. We get upset when our employees fail to give us notice. We think we deserve that much respect.

Don’t they deserve respect too? I’ve always believed that once I made a decision that involved my employees, I owed it to them to fill them in as soon as possible. I understand that sometimes there are justifiable reasons to do otherwise. But I defaulted to sooner, rather than later.

Having said that, I also believe that you have to understand the bigg picture. These employees you’re letting go today may be your best candidates tomorrow – if you handle it properly.

These people may be customers, too. They may know people who are your customers. What are you doing to your reputation when you show no respect for your employees?

And what are you saying to the employees who remain? Aren’t you saying that people don’t matter? That the only thing that’s important is this quarter’s earnings?

Give them the respect they deserve
Does an employee who’s been with a company for nearly twenty years deserve more than a minute from his manager when he gets laid off? I think so!

I think he deserved a conversation at least twenty times that long! How about a minute for every year he devoted? Is that asking too much? I don’t think so!

I think he deserved a complete explanation about what was going on and why his position was being eliminated.

I think he deserved to be reassured that he hadn’t done anything wrong.

I think he deserved to know if it was possible that his position would be available again if the company turned things around.

I think he deserved his manager’s best guess about the likelihood of that happening.

I think he deserved to know what resources were available to him to find another job or career, even if the company wasn’t willing to pay for it.

I think he deserved a written letter of recommendation that he could use to find that next position.

I think he deserved to be thanked for all that he had done.

I think he deserved to be treated like a human being!

Believe me, I understand that managing is a tough job. But don’t make it tougher by treating people inhumanely and burning bridges. Give them the respect they deserve. Otherwise, you’ll lose more in the long run, as a manager and as a human being. Oh, and one more thing, your company will lose even more than you do.

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More Wynn Bigg posts 

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