greg bustin uneasy lies the head

Uneasy Lies the Head

  1. April 15th, 2014  | 

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Published in Leadership

In Shakespeare’s Henry IV, the title character finds himself worn out by his duties as king and jealous of his “poorest subjects [who] are at this hour asleep!”

Poor King Henry concludes, “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”

Leaders who enjoy power and prestige also own the worries that come with great responsibility.

Terminating employees is one of those responsibilities and it’s rarely easy – whether it’s someone whose under-performance is obvious, or a person with long ties to the organization.

As a leader, you must address under-performing employees regardless of their level and tenure in the organization, otherwise your reputation within the organization takes a hit.

Your failure to act is also disrespectful to your top performers.

You’re wearing the crown. You have the responsibility to do what must be done.

A CEO once reported to his peers in one of my Vistage groups that he had terminated an executive who also was a family friend after giving this person every chance to succeed.

Hearing this news, a fellow CEO remarked, “Congratulations on your business successes and condolences for the tough personnel decision. I am afraid it comes with the territory.”

About the Author: Greg Bustin advises some of the world’s most admired companies and leaders, and he’s dedicated a career to working with CEOs and the leadership teams of hundreds of companies in a range of industries. He’s facilitated more than 250 strategic planning sessions, he’s delivered more than 600 keynotes and workshops on every continent except Antarctica, and he coaches leaders who are inspired to take their career to the next level. His fourth leadership book— Accountability: The Key to Driving a High-Performance Culture (McGraw-Hill) —is a Soundview Executive Best Business Book.

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