This AM in USA Today, I read a great Q&A with the CEO of Redfin, a real estate brokerage firm. Glenn Kelman talks about almost being fired thirteen years ago and how that changed his professional life. In the Q&A, he talks about being told that he was fired by the CEO and how he reacted; most importantly, what he did as a result. He said that he cried, begged for mercy and promised to change. He was saved and said that if he weren’t saved that would have been a very negative point in his career and would have consumed him. Instead, he did change and to this day constantly thinks about how he can change to be better at what he does. He said that you have to police yourself. He said that we all know what our fatal flaw is; that one thing that we can do better. We need to focus on change as a work in progress.
He also commented on firing from the CEO perspective. He said that no one should be surprised that they are being fired. He said talk to the individual. Let them know what's wrong and if they are willing to change, give them a shot. Give them a direct account of what they need to do better. All in all, very useful advice from both the employee’s perspective as well as the manager's (in this case the CEO's) perspective.