Charles Starrett

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Culture consultant & social tech teacher/facilitator at SoulCo & Northeastern University. He/Him. Dad, Harvard and NEC alum, visual thinker, dabbler in ukulele, electronic music, 한국어, and TTRPGs.

Speaking from I

I heard a CEO talk about having to fire someone the other day, saying, “When I saw him berating a junior employee at the company, I knew he had to go. That’s not our culture here.”

There is vulnerability and power in owning the experience. Rather than only saying, “I had to fire him because he wasn’t a good fit,” he gave a specific details and opened himself up to judgement.

Because he let us know the situation, we could wonder, was the firing too harsh? Should he have given the guy a second chance? Maybe put him through some training first?

If he just said, “I had to fire him because he wasn’t a good fit,” then we don’t have anything to criticize. We have to just take his word for it.

On the other hand, giving a specific reason builds trust. Whether we agree with the firing or not, it doesn’t feel arbitrary or nefarious. It also tells us something about the CEO’s values. All these things help to build and strengthen the relationship.

And relationships are how leadership happens.

28 May 2022

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