greg bustin uneasy lies the head

Uneasy Lies the Head

April 15th, 2014  | 

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 is an executive coach, consultant and speaker who has delivered more than 500 keynotes and workshops on five continents. Greg advises leaders at some of the world’s most admired companies, and his views about leadership have been published in The Wall Street Journal, Chief Executive, Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., Investor’s Business Daily, Leader to Leader, and other major publications. He’s written five leadership books. His newest book, How Leaders Decide: A Timeless Guide to Making Tough Choices (Sourcebooks), examines decision-making in history’s greatest triumphs and tragedies. How Leaders Decide

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