It was unfortunate for everyone that by the time the financial controller had started her new job, the company’s needs for the role had changed. The company took the route many companies do – to wait for the employee to work him or herself out.

This was one of the challenges that we were tasked with facilitating at one of our Team Dynamics clients. The company had been through an intense growth cycle and in filling the financial controller position, not enough time had been spent revising the business needs and the contribution that person really needed to make to support their strategy.

The financial controller had been with the company for a short period of time. However, the contribution expected to come from her in this position was not being realised. Financial strategic thinking and modelling were required from this role to take the company to the next level.

The solution was to have a radical and transparent conversation with her around agreeing mutual separation, for the benefit of both parties. The benefit for the company was clear – the role and expectation mismatch were quickly blocking up flow and causing frustration. They would soon be on a slippery slope to chaos.

What was not clear or obvious, yet even more important to me, was the impact on the person. How long do companies sometimes take to make the right decisions and have these conversations? We see leaders preferring to drag the performance cycle out while working the employee out of the position. In this process, the employee loses self-confidence and starts believing there is something wrong with them. The reality is that it’s not about the person at all. It’s about what the company requires to be sustainable whilst being accountable to all other employees in making the right decisions.

Fortunately, in this case, the financial controller understood that the environment was just not right for her, for where she was at and the contribution she naturally could bring to the company. She would shine in an environment where strong mentorship was provided to take her further on her career path.

In Compassionate Leadership, meaningful relationships and purposeful work are mutually reinforcing, especially when supported by decisiveness, radical truth and transparency. What critical decision have you been avoiding that would unlock your business and team if you acted decisively now?