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Is It Time to Fire Yourself?

By James Cronk
boss telling you it's time to fire yourself

Have you ever fired anyone?

As a leader in your club, company, or profession, you’ve probably had to fire people. In fact, you’ve likely had to fire just about as many people as you’ve hired. Whether you’ve had to fire someone for being apathetic, lacking initiative, or just plain unreliable, the reasons for firing an employee are always predictable.

But one thing these employees all have in common is that they weren’t Powered ON!

…are you POWERED ON?

When I feel my staff aren’t Powered On, or worse, they don’t seem to care when I walk into their department, I find it helpful to look into the proverbial mirror.

Is there a reason my staff are lacking motivation and drive? Is there something I can do to improve this?

Of course there is. As a leader, it all begins with you.

If you find that you are spending more time managing misfits than money…it might be time to look at yourself.

Consider these questions:

  • Do you still have a great attitude? Or have you become jaded, cynical, and stuck in your ways?
  • Do you have a willingness to learn?
  • Are you still working with the same concepts and ideas that you were trained in back when knee high socks were mandatory?
  • Have you developed new leadership skills? Have you improved your leadership skills?
  • Can you work with a team?
  • Have you asked your team for new ideas or feedback?

The answers to these questions will say a lot about you as a leader. If you find that your attitude has diminished, you aren’t open to new ideas or feedback, and are struggling to work with your team, well, it may just be time to fire yourself.

It’s time to develop a critical eye

Of course, you’re not really going to fire yourself (although a nice vacation and severance pay isn’t all that bad of an idea). What you are going to do is step back and take a real critical look at yourself and your business. Before you blame your staff for underperformance, take a look at your leadership skills.

Don’t wait. Do this before your boss, your board, your owner, your shareholders or whoever signs your paycheques does. Time is money, and if you wait too long to really understand where you can improve, it might be too late.

If your company isn’t making money, or your guests are unhappy, or your boss has an itchy trigger finger, then you are already under a microscope.

That’s when my phone will ring.

When the people who sign the cheque wonder if their leader is underperforming, their reasons for calling are always the same.

Based of this, I’ve created my own simple Top Ten list (nod to David Letterman):

Here are ten signs that you (or one of your team) might not be Powered ON

  1. You say “no” more often than “why not”.
  2. Your 24/7 has become 9 to 4.
  3. You think experience outweighs innovation.
  4. You keep ideas and thoughts in your head instead of writing a manual.
  5. Everyone knows who your favourite staff members are.
  6. You avoid conflict at all costs.
  7. You think there is no point in creating a great work environment for millennials.
  8. You spend 90 percent of your time doing tasks your staff should be doing.
  9. You no longer count and worry about the pennies.
  10. You don’t love your job the way you used to.

Fire yourself…really?

Take a good look at yourself—and be honest.

Is it possible that maybe even one of those signs on the list relates to you? Is it possible that there is room for improvement?

This is where you have to be 100 percent honest with yourself.

This isn’t going to be easy. It requires you to dig deep and really take a look at yourself, your leadership skills, places you can improve, and places you know you have been slacking.

No one is perfect. We all have our faults. The trick is to recognize your faults, own them, and more importantly, do something about them before someone else does.

So, take a critical look at your performance.

…and then, just for fun, Fire Yourself! And then, just for MORE fun, write your job posting.

What would you be looking for in the ideal candidate? Do you still have those qualities? If you don’t have those qualities, or could improve on them—now is the time to do it.

Now that you’ve identified what you might need to change, we can help.

For each of the warning signs listed above, there are also ten ways you can tell that you (or your manager) is doing great.

thumbs up

  1. You track the metrics of what works and what doesn’t. You continually bring forward and test new ideas.
  2. You seek out professional development for yourself and your staff. Take the Cronk Power of Ten Performance Plan training to educate yourself on the most up-to-date ways to deliver your product.
  3. You consistently identify areas of your business that need improvement and don’t stop until it’s spectacular.
  4. You strive to ensure that each of your staff is motivated, helpful, and enthusiastic. Do they have the qualities you would be looking for if you were replacing them? Use the Cronk Performance Review Documents to identify where you need to re-train or replace.
  5. You gather feedback. Use Cronk Group Employee or Customer Satisfaction Surveys to gain customer and employee feedback and use this valuable information to make changes.
  6. You embrace change. Accept that your business and the business world will evolve—and you should too.
  7. You put effort into building new relationships with customers and staff with whom you haven’t yet connected. Consider creating a team building exercise with the entire staff.
  8. You begin to arrive at work 30 minutes earlier than normal and find that you now literally have 20 more days of productivity each year.
  9. You write it down. A simple planner, SMART goals, metrics, analysis, policies, procedures, or how-tos. A written record can be used to teach, train and improve. And you always remember to put a date on it, and file it somewhere that you can find it again.
  10. You go by zero-based budgeting and you question every expense. Don’t spend it again because you did last year. Pay attention to the small things that add up.


Hire yourself, but not your old self—your new, enthusiastic, just-answered-the-ad self.

Shouldn’t we treat the start of each year, each quarter, each month and really, each and every day, as the start of a new job? A new relationship? A new opportunity?

Whenever you feel like you might be getting complacent or notice that your staff seems unmotivated, maybe it’s time to metaphorically fire yourself. Dig deep to see what you can improve on, and transform yourself. Bring about a new energy that your staff and superiors will feel.

Implement new ideas and a new attitude that will motivate both you and your team—and drive new success to your workplace.

Good Luck! Don’t hesitate to reach out at anytime if you ever need help with your own personal assessment, or managing your staff or your owners. I can help. Reach out to me today!

Want to learn more about being successful in the workplace? Here 3 of my most popular articles:

Be a Powered on Leader

How to hire powered on people!

Lights, Camera … Recognition!




Download and apply these 10 ‘POWER ON’ principles and see immediate improvements in the satisfaction of your staff, your guests and your bottom line!

James Cronk

For the past twenty-five years James Cronk has been helping business owners get themselves, their people and their customers powered on. He uses a unique blend of creativity, experience and proven systems to help golf clubs achieve their goals and increase their profits by improving their systems, their service and their people!
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