Fire more people, fire them sooner, don’t wait, fire them as soon as you know

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

Anyone who has read my book “How To Destroy A Tech Startup” is aware of my advice on this issue: if one person is holding back the whole team, then it is important to fire that person before they destroy the whole team. Here is another take on the same basic idea:

3) Remove Bad Influences

People don’t like to talk about this, but one of the most effective ways to change culture is to fire people.

There’s a probably apocryphal story about an Orson Welles trick, where he would get a stooge to show up to work on the first day on a shoot, do something Welles didn’t want, and Welles would fire him.

The message to the crew would be unambiguous: my way, or the highway.

That’s obviously an extreme example, but I’ve seen the powerful effects of removing people who are obstructing change. That doesn’t mean you don’t follow due process, or give people clear warnings, or help them to mend their ways, but nothing sends a message of ‘I disapprove of this bad behaviour’ better than dealing with it firmly.

And check point 6 on this deck about Jeff Bezos’ mandate to change the way Amazon worked:

Anyone who doesn’t do this will be fired.

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