Friday, January 13, 2012

Nobody Likes to Fire People

DES MOINES, IA - NOVEMBER 23:   Republican pre...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeRecently, Mitt Romney has been quoted as saying, “I like being able to fire people.” Left out of context that statement sure sounds like Romney wants to cut jobs, hurt the workers, and keep the economy stalled. But the statement is taken out of context.

Romney actually said, “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.” Specifically, he was talking about insurance companies that aren’t providing enough value. In essence, he was making a statement about free enterprise. Romney was making a statement about merits, quality, value, and every individual’s right to choose the insurance that is right for them. It was a statement against bureaucracy and large government (and yes, despite having been accused of flip-flopping on issues, consistent with what appears to be his emerging platform).

I think most of us would agree that if we hire someone to mow the lawn and they do a lousy job that we would find a new lawn service. If we go to a doctor that we’re not happy with, we move on.

As much as Romney can appear cool at times, I don’t believe he likes to fire people. Nobody likes to fire people. What he, and nearly every manager who has worked at a large corporation will tell you is that sometimes people need to be fired. Whether that’s to address an unaffordable business model or a performance issue, sometimes it simply needs to be done.

Does that mean that Romney is against job creation or that he wants to hurt the middle class worker? If he is truly an entrepreneur (as he describes himself) – then at his core, creating jobs is what he does.

Will Romney downsize the government? And will jobs be lost as he does so? If he sticks to his current message, then yes, that will surely happen. But he also says that he is planning to reduce the tax on corporations, keep private sector jobs from moving overseas, and encourage those companies to create more jobs. And if he does so, that will be good for the economy and for jobs. That’s a message I want to hear.

Will Romney stick to that message and follow through once he’s in office? What do you think?


Stina Lindenblatt said...

LOL I read the title as Nobody Likes Fire People. Now that is one attention getting title. :D

I don't live in the states, so I haven't been paying attention to your elections. There's nothing I can do about what is happening because I can't vote. Besides our childish, squabbling politicians have tired me out until our next election.

Steve in POK said...

Two vignettes: 1) At the time of an early 90's IBM RIF, a second line mgr. relieved his first lines of the responsibility of firing their directs - he had to do 6-8 that day. And they had to go out the door immediately. Bloody! He earned a great deal of respect from many on his leadership that day.
2) More recently a former IBM employee who is a very close friend tells me that his first line manager who had to notify him of his termination (or find another job in the company, a virtual impossibility) is still apologetic about it almost 3 yrs later. They remain close friends.
Firing is the toughest thing any manager ever has to do - under most circumstances.

Carol Kilgore said...

Who knows? He's a politician. Politicians make many promises, some of which they honor, some of which they have no intention of honoring, and some of which they do not have the power or authority to honor.

KarenG said...

Wow, talk about being taken out of context! You're so right-- nobody likes to fire people (or sue them either), yet it's a fine thing to be able to do so when the situation calls for it.