073: Our Golden Parachute


In the 20+ years of Ben's career, he can't remember ever seeing a person in a leadership position get fired. He's seen plenty of people leave a company to "explore other opportunities", typically accompanied by much praise and congratulations. He assumes that at least some of these people were actually fired; but, were allowed to depart under friendly terms. He poses this question to the crew: assuming that his assumption is valid, is suppressing this information healthy for the company (perhaps an effort to keep morale high)? Or, is it a form of gaslighting that creates confusion and dissent within the organization?

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With audio editing and engineering by ZCross Media.


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[00:00:00] Carol: So I'm with you. Like, I think that it is a big boost for morale. When the crappy leaders are let go and told to, move on and everybody knows that's what happened instead of covering it up and being like, oh, we've decided to, explore other options.

[00:00:14] Carol: And I'm going to go work for a startup and catch you guys on LinkedIn. Right? Like, no, you're terrible. I'm not going to give you a good LinkedIn review. Move on.

[00:00:45] Intro

[00:00:45] Adam: Okay, here we go. It is show number 73. And on today's show, we're going to talk about getting fired, sort of getting fired, leaving on good terms. I don't know. We'll figure it out. but first as usual, we'll start with our triumphs and fails. And Tim you're up first.

[00:01:00] Tim's Triumph

[00:01:00] Tim: So I'll go to the triumph. So we had a customer. So last year we sponsored a beer garden at one of our biggest trade shows, which I thought was fantastic. And it was fantastic. And we have some naysayers in our company. The marketing people are like, oh no, what we need to do is drip campaigns and send emails and add messages and do customer based accounting kind of targeting them.

[00:01:30] Tim: But basically we just had a booth is the only place to get beer in the entire a show. And like, after like 4:00 PM, people can show up and start having beers. And we were relentless, right? So I told my sales guy, you and me, we were sitting up chairs on each side of the line to get beers. And we're just, handshaking, every single person that comes in and asking them their info and just give them a sales pitch.

[00:01:58] Tim: And, so we have people above us who are like, eh, I don't think these kind of things are, you know, $80,000 to do

[00:02:06] Carol: Whew.

[00:02:07] Tim: yeah. That's $80,000 to sponsor this. And, I don't know if their turn on investment and blah, blah, blah, blah. And I'm like, this is gonna work. It's gonna work.

[00:02:16] Tim: And so today, today we had a demo. Finally, we've been trying to get these guys since this was on October because in October Fest beer garden. And, we finally today had. With these guys. And so we kind of did customer discovery. We figured out, what's the biggest pain point and the biggest pain point was that timing.

[00:02:37] Tim: Cause we're in the payments business that they take credit cards. They're not really happy with the credit card provider, but they can't take, ACH very well,

[00:02:46] Carol: And ACH means.

[00:02:48] Tim: automated clearing house, which is basically taking money out of your bank account.

[00:02:52] Carol: Okay. Okay. Like drafting the Jaffe,

[00:02:53] Tim: In drafting your back. Yeah,

[00:02:54] Tim: exactly. So they couldn't do that very well with who they were currently with who, which was Braintree, which is our one of our competitors.

[00:03:03] Tim: So, had them show us the website, had them show us the, kind of the invoices they produce. And so we built basically a screen for screen copy of what they're doing now, but using our services rather than our competitor services.

[00:03:19] Ben: Nice.

[00:03:20] Tim: And so that came up. I get exactly everything like that. All the branding, everything was exactly, like, like when you hit the neck, hitting a button on the screen, they'll have a they're called propeller bonds is that they do like surety bonds for, like states and, government kind of things.

[00:03:40] Tim: And so it was big ticket. I mean, they're paying like 7,000, 10,000, $20,000 on credit card or ACH. And so just built this whole entire demo for them within like three days. That's, not ColdFusion, but is really good at prototyping. Something

[00:03:58] Carol: Oh, you can get it out fast.

[00:04:00] Tim: W we're not going to build this in ColdFusion.

[00:04:02] Tim: We're going to do this in.net, at the end, but it's like do a prototype it's so fast. It's so beautiful. And so basically the whole thing is you build, they put on this data and they put in, they want to do an ad hoc kind of invoice for someone, build it out. Since I'm an email generates a PDF comes to them, there's a link to pay and they click the link, comes to our site, has all the data prefilled.

[00:04:26] Tim: So everything about them is already pre-filled and,they just pay and it does both credit card and ACH, which they can't do now. And, they looked at that and they're like,

[00:04:37] Tim: wow, you just, so they gave me the, they gave me the information on Friday. I demoed it today on Thursday

[00:04:45] Ben: Nice.

[00:04:46] Carol: boy.

[00:04:47] Tim: they're like,

[00:04:47] Adam: You went back in time,

[00:04:49] Tim: As well last week.

[00:04:50] Tim: Yeah. They're like, geez, man, I we're amazed. You could whip this out that fast. this is the easiest decision we had to make all day. Send us the contract or sign it up.

[00:05:01] Carol: wow. That is awesome. 10.

[00:05:04] Tim: Yeah. So this is like $200,000 in net revenue that will be added to our bottom line

[00:05:10] Carol: Wow. That's awesome. Congratulations. That's a

[00:05:13] Adam: the beer garden worked even just for the one client.

[00:05:16] Tim: yeah, exactly.

[00:05:16] Carol: So I went back to, I went back to the guy, who's like, oh, these, the trade show booths, they don't work. They don't, waste of money.

[00:05:23] Tim: I had dinner with him tonight. He was an . So he's from Canada. He's like from, another level up in the organization from me. And he's, doesn't believe in that.

[00:05:33] Tim: He's like all, he just believes in email drip campaigns and like sending out messages and ads and non. We got this 100% because they came up to us in the line while they're waiting to get a beer and we shook their hand and like, Hey, how do you take your payments? And they're like, oh, we do use Braintree.

[00:05:53] Tim: We hate it. Like, do you hate really hate? And they kept coming back for beers. I'm like, do you still hate Braintree? You still hate Braintree. I kept like, hammering on that. And like, and so, yeah. So yeah, in gather deal,

[00:06:07] Carol: That is

[00:06:07] Adam: I mean, I think your point is very well made. It's it's not that trade show booths don't work. It's that lazy trade show booths

[00:06:13] Carol: Yes. Yeah.

[00:06:15] Adam: just pay for a booth and go sit in it and wait for the

[00:06:18] Adam: leads to come in.

[00:06:19] Tim: And that's fair because our booth was shared. So there was like two sides of the beer garden. One side was another company. That's a family company of ours and one was ours. And so the other folks were just kind of standing over on their side of the booth, not talking to the people that are lining up to get beer.

[00:06:36] Tim: I told, I said, I looked at my sales guy and I'm like, look, you and I were getting stools. We're sitting on both sides of this line. And we're talking to every single person who's lining up to drink our beer. And that's what we did.

[00:06:51] Tim: so it totally works. Like the people that were like, what do you do?

[00:06:55] Tim: we find out like, okay, no interest, move on, go get your beer. Great. And like, people are like, oh yeah, I hate being okay, come on. So we would like pull them out of the line and like, Hey, I'll go the front line, get you a beer, hand it to you. And like,

[00:07:10] Carol: Your VIP now.

[00:07:12] Tim: You're a VIB buddy. So, and so what's great about that is because our leadership doesn't think that this kind of thing works.

[00:07:19] Tim: They're like, and we're not spending any money this year on those kinds of things. And so, because we are, once we sign this deal because they agree to it day, and I have no doubt, they will that,I talked to leadership today and I'm like, we need to do this again. They're like, okay, if you sign this and bring this in, you can do it again.

[00:07:40] Tim: Like, okay, cool.

[00:07:41] Carol: but you have to do it the way you did it. Not the way the

[00:07:43] Tim: Exactly. Right. And you

[00:07:45] Carol: to be the full picture.

[00:07:46] Tim: Yeah, exactly. It be our name on the marquee this time. And it won't be no one else. I'm not sharing this with you guys didn't make the sale. You didn't work hard enough. So we worked hard. We got it. We're taking it 100%. It's our show.

[00:07:59] Ben: nicely done. That's

[00:08:01] Carol: Winner, winner chicken dinner.

[00:08:03] Tim: exactly. So, I mean, I was so happy. I mean, I was so happy today. They're just, they were shocked. Their jaws just dropped. They're like, wow, this is perfect. This is exactly what we needed. I'm like, cool. Let's do business.

[00:08:19] Carol: Gotcha.

[00:08:19] Adam: Nice.

[00:08:20] Tim: has me. How about you, Carol?

[00:08:22] Carol: Oh man, I don't even want to go now. Cause I'm

[00:08:24] Tim: just going to like, oh, can I go at the end? I don't want to ruin him, I have a Adam. Adam. How about you? Go

[00:08:32] Adam's Triumph

[00:08:32] Adam: Sure. I'll go. so, on today's undisclosed date, I have now completed my 40th trip around the sun and I'm calling that a triumph.

[00:08:41] Ben: Happy

[00:08:41] Tim: Congratulations bro.

[00:08:43] Carol: Happy birthday

[00:08:45] Tim: Forties, forties is the

[00:08:46] Adam: So I'm officially old

[00:08:48] Tim: No fifties old.

[00:08:51] Adam: until you turn 60, right?

[00:08:52] Tim: The forties are the best.

[00:08:54] Carol: Yeah, we'll see. We'll

[00:08:55] Carol: see how they go for.

[00:08:57] Adam: I honestly, I do hope that the forties are the best because I've had a pretty great life, all things considered. And so if it's only going to get better than hell yeah. I'm all

[00:09:05] Carol: Yeah.

[00:09:08] Ben: I walk around and I have this image of myself in my head and it's not of a 40 year old person. It's probably like 30 year old person.

[00:09:17] Tim: no,

[00:09:18] Tim: I'm 28 perpetually 28.

[00:09:21] Adam: it's funny you say that to him. So my, somebody asked me today if I felt 40 and I was like, no, it mentally, I think of myself as like 28, but then it's like physically, there's the aches and pains. There's the gray hair. There's

[00:09:34] Tim: 28 is when I met my wife.

[00:09:36] Carol: Oh,

[00:09:37] Tim: And that's the guy. I mean, my life kinda changed, but it's like 28 is kind of where I'm stuck in my head. And I look in the mirror and go, Nope, not 28.

[00:09:45] Ben: That's what I was going to say. It's like, I have this, like, I'm a clean cut, like 30 year old in my head. And then I'll walk into the bathroom and look in the mirror and I've got stubble and I have like clown hair. Cause I haven't had a haircut in like three months. I'm like, oh, that's not. That's what I was thinking.

[00:10:02] Tim: I look at this side, silver and I'm going. Nope. Nope.

[00:10:06] Adam: Yeah, I can't help, but remember what I looked like in the mirror when I was like 17, you know, just smooth skin and lot, I had all of my hair still and it's not the same guy. the skin is tired and dry and

[00:10:22] Tim: Um,

[00:10:23] Adam: little saggy.

[00:10:24] Tim: weird. Aging's weird.

[00:10:26] Carol: But it beats alternatives.

[00:10:28] Adam: Oh, yeah, definitely. nine stars out of 10.

[00:10:34] Carols' Fail

[00:10:34] Carol: All right. Well, I'll take it from here. Since you guys had tryouts, I'm going to go with a failure. I can't catch up. You guys. I was out six days from work for jury duty and was on a buried, terrible case that involved murder and was not fun, but it like impacted my sleep impacted my entire life. I missed you guys last week because of it.

[00:10:53] Carol: And I just, I can't catch up at work. I miss all the leadership meetings. I missed all the training I had to do. So I'm still on Thursday behind I'm behind on text messages. I'm behind on phone calls. it's not good. And I don't know when I'm going to get out of this hole and I just hope it's sometime soon because it's stressing me out really bad. So I'll get there though.

[00:11:16] Tim: That sucks. I'm

[00:11:17] Carol: Yeah,

[00:11:18] Ben: Yeah. Anything that messes with your sleep as the word?

[00:11:22] Carol: I mean, I was taking sleeping, like sleeping pills cause. Was having nightmares from like some of the images and stuff. So I'm like, I can't sleep. I have to focus tomorrow, already have ADHD. The last thing this guy deserves is me daydreaming during the trial. So yeah.

[00:11:38] Carol: Was not good anyways, but I'll get back. I'll get out of it. I'll

[00:11:42] Tim: Um,I can't even imagine how I've been doing jury duty requests, but you know, my response is always, everyone should get the capital punishment

[00:11:53] Carol: They didn't even ask us that. No, Nope. They didn't ask us. They did pull me to the side and make me interview privately. Cause they were like, yeah, they're like, has anyone been the victim of a violent crime? And I'm like, nobody raises their hand. Me.

[00:12:09] Tim: Oh, wow. So

[00:12:10] Carol: like, yeah, I don't know those. They were like, can you be fair?

[00:12:14] Carol: And just being that you've been the victim, I'm like, I think so, because the cases are nowhere near related, but now going forward, I will never do this again because I don't want to ever have to deal with this. So I'll say yes, I cannot be biased. Send me home. Like I'm going to, or I am going to be

[00:12:28] Carol: bias.

[00:12:29] Tim: but at the same time, it's like, do you really want people who can't get out of jury duty who are not smart enough to get out of it to judge someone's life?

[00:12:38] Carol: See that's where I went. If I were on trial or if my children were on trial, I would want someone logically or someone who could sit there and logically think they were a problem and could see the data for what it's worth and who thinks like we do. So I was like, okay, this guy

[00:12:53] Tim: Yeah. I mean, I don't know if I could within good conscience opt out of it, basically use my intelligence to get out of it just because I feel like there's so many people who just not going to critical thinking.

[00:13:08] Carol: Oh, we had some of those,

[00:13:10] Tim: mean, you haven't just people who are just, yeah, I imagined, I mean, please tell me about that because it's like some people's like, they just, like, they just want to be done.

[00:13:19] Tim: They

[00:13:19] Carol: uh,

[00:13:20] Tim: about it. And I couldn't, I don't know if I could, yeah. I don't know if I could like, just pass myself off as an idiot to get out of it.

[00:13:28] Carol: well, I definitely wasn't doing that and I won't do that going forward if I get asked to be on a jury, but I will make it clear that it caused me a lot of physical stress and mental problems that I should not be on any violent crime. Send me some fraud checks. I'll take that all day long. I do not want to do violent crime though.

[00:13:47] Carol: I can't it's

[00:13:48] Carol: it hurts too bad.

[00:13:50] Tim: I mean, if you're the one person who saves a innocent person from

[00:13:55] Carol:

[00:13:55] Tim: a hard call, so how did it go? Was it guilty

[00:13:58] Carol: Guilty. Yeah. We found the guy guilty on three counts of felony murder and then a laundry list of other charges, but yep.

[00:14:05] Tim: Well,

[00:14:06] Adam: That's

[00:14:07] Adam: rough.

[00:14:07] Adam:

[00:14:07] Tim: it's rough, but I mean, you, I mean, obviously you agreed with the decision.

[00:14:11] Carol: Yeah. It's up two days of deliberation to come to an answer. I was torn because the data was a hundred P wasn't a hundred percent. Right. So it wasn't until the judge, when we were finally sent back to deliberation where she explained reasonable doubt that it's not, that it has to be clean.

[00:14:25] Carol: Cut. You just have to believe at, beyond a reasonable doubt. And I was like, oh, well then that's different. I'm already at reasonable doubt. I'm good there, but it's not a hundred percent. Like there's no gun.

[00:14:37] Tim: was there a confession?

[00:14:38] Carol: no, we got nothing from the defendant,

[00:14:41] Ben: interesting. Cause I was watching something,John Oliver.

[00:14:45] Tim: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. John Alvar

[00:14:46] Tim: was talking about how confessions can be pride out of people, even though they didn't do it.

[00:14:52] Tim: right?

[00:14:52] Tim: So, but Yeah.

[00:14:53] Ben: Yeah. And that was a great

[00:14:54] Carol: It's actually funny. You said that I called one day to get advice from a cop friend of mine. And at the end of it, he told me, he said, never get in a police room, never get into like an interrogation room along with an investigator. He goes, you literally would admit to killing JFK. If I push you hard enough, he was like, you gave me way too much information about what was going on.

[00:15:16] Carol: He's like, you need to lawyer up the minute you walk in the room, he goes, you're that person that would confess to it without even realizing you confessed to it.

[00:15:23] Tim: Yep.

[00:15:24] Carol: I was like, okay. He goes, you're too damn honest.

[00:15:27] Tim: I told my kids the same thing. If you ever get arrested, the only thing you say to the investigators who are interrogating you is like, I want my lawyer. That's the only thing you say. I want my lawyer do not answer any questions. 100%.

[00:15:41] Carol: Yeah. Well, that's me. Yeah. What about you, Ben?

[00:15:44] Ben's Fail

[00:15:44] Ben: I'm going to go with a failure and it's just, I've been feeling what my wife would call . I've been feeling very low-key this

[00:15:50] Carol: What does that mean?

[00:15:52] Ben: I had to Google. It apparently just means like feeling down and

[00:15:56] Ben: heavy and

[00:15:57] Tim: key.

[00:15:58] Ben: log.

[00:15:59] Ben: Why? I didn't think it was a real word until I Googled it. And

[00:16:03] Ben: apparently It's a

[00:16:04] Ben: real

[00:16:04] Tim: No,

[00:16:05] Adam: Is it, is it a legal Scrabble word?

[00:16:10] Ben: So I don't know. I just been feeling unmotivated and

[00:16:14] Adam: I can report Logan is a, an official Scrabble word.

[00:16:18] Ben: there youThere you

[00:16:19] Carol: and it's spelled L O G Y.

[00:16:21] Adam: Yes.

[00:16:23] Carol: Okay. So you've been feeling low.

[00:16:25] Ben: Yeah, it's just kinda like a block off kinda weak. I'm in feeling actually increasingly more lonely at work. as my small team is slowly disbanding and people are, everyone is officially on other teams at this point, but unofficially people have sort of stayed in the private chat room for our team and they've helped us pull requests and that's slowly becoming less and less the case.

[00:16:47] Ben: And, I'm starting to feel quite disconnected and I don't know, it's just, it's not great. I feel like, I don't know, I just, just off just an off week.

[00:16:56] Adam: you got an eight point Scrabble word out

[00:16:58] Carol: Yeah.

[00:17:00] Ben: So I got that

[00:17:01] Ben: in the bag.

[00:17:01] Carol: Yeah. Maybe you should join some slack channels there in listen to some of their conversations about the new stuff they're doing or try to.

[00:17:09] Ben: I was, I try to, I'm in a couple of, weekly calls about different areas of the organization, but I don't know, it's just not quite the same. Like even I, I showed up to our standup today and no one else showed up, which, you know, to be fair, one of the guys was he's out for the rest of the week.

[00:17:26] Ben: and one of the other guys like never shows up to them. And then there's one, this there's a third person and he just didn't. I dunno, whatever wasn't around today.

[00:17:34] Carol: So

[00:17:35] Carol: why Don't you join the new T I'm going to say the new team air quotes. Cause I don't know if it's one team or if they've just moved to a

[00:17:40] Carol: different

[00:17:41] Ben: I'll get

[00:17:42] Carol: any,

[00:17:42] Ben: I'll get there eventually.

[00:17:43] Ben: I still have a lot of stuff to do.

[00:17:46] Adam:

[00:17:46] Adam: Is that decision up to you?

[00:17:47] Ben: is it up to me? I don't know. Probably. I mean, it could be I'm sure if I put my foot down. but there's still stuff. I have things.

[00:17:56] Adam: It's got to feel. Like the burden has. I'm sorry if I'm, I don't want to put more weight on you, but I'm just,I feel like the burden has to have the mental burden has to have increased knowing you're the only one

[00:18:07] Adam: supporting an entire legacy application.

[00:18:11] Carol: I agree.

[00:18:11] Ben: it's the burden doesn't bother me. What bothers me is the, I'd say a lack of comradery around it. And even if like, let's say that I do something and I fixed something or I build something new. There's no celebration. there's no newsletter going out to customers about the new feature.

[00:18:30] Ben: There's no, it's just like, it's very quiet. Yeah. The whole there's for everybody, better. It goes and it goes in phases.

[00:18:41] Adam: this too shall pass.

[00:18:42] Ben: Yeah,

[00:18:42] Ben: exactly. So that's me.

[00:18:44] Firing People

[00:18:44] Adam: Okay. Well then let's talk about firing people,

[00:18:48] Carol: Yeah.

[00:18:48] Carol: They'll get you out of your funk

[00:18:51] Adam: just go around the company and be like, all right, I've been here longer than you. You're fired. I've been

[00:18:55] Carol: out. You're

[00:18:56] Adam: You're fired out.

[00:18:57] Adam: What's my middle name. You don't know what you're fired.

[00:19:00] Carol: There's like some clip I've seen. I don't know what it's from. there's like a clip where he walks in and he's like F you F you F you you're cool. F you F you,

[00:19:09] Carol: It's

[00:19:09] Carol: sort of a movie.

[00:19:10] Carol: Maybe

[00:19:11] Adam: what is that from? That's going to bug me.

[00:19:13] Carol: it's the thing I know, but they'll

[00:19:14] Ben: Oh no, no,no. Maybe you're thinking of a national Lampoon's Christmas vacation.

[00:19:19] Carol: I don't know.

[00:19:20] Adam: I think he might be thinking about half baby.

[00:19:22] Carol: Half-baked, that's what it is. That sounds

[00:19:25] Adam: Yeah.

[00:19:26] Adam: like F you F you F you you're cool. F you

[00:19:28] Carol: Yeah. Yeah. Sorry. I just thought

[00:19:32] Carol: of that when Adam was like walking around firing people, so

[00:19:35] Carol: yeah.

[00:19:36] Adam: Yeah.

[00:19:37] Leadership Voluntary Resignation

[00:19:37] Ben: so this is something that I've been thinking about. Just racing that I don't know. I don't quite remember what put it in my head, but I was thinking about my career and I've been around for 20 ish years or so. And I've worked in a variety of places. And I think in all of this time, I don't ever remember someone in a leadership position being fired.

[00:19:59] Ben: I've seen a lot of people leave, to go explore other opportunities and work for other companies or, look for earlier growth stage companies, that kind of stuff. I have to imagine that at least some of those people were actually fired, but were know allowed to leave under the guise of voluntary

[00:20:21] Ben: departure.

[00:20:22] Adam: Yeah.

[00:20:22] Ben: And I wonder if that's a net negative for the company culture.

[00:20:28] Carol: I think it can be.

[00:20:29] Ben: Like if you see a toxic person, like everybody kind of knows, but it just goes an undiscussed that this is a bad person to be leading the company. And then. For lack of a better term, like a golden parachute to leave? Plus like, I've been thinking about the term gaslighting,that's obviously been used a lot more in the last couple of years

[00:20:48] Ben: and

[00:20:50] Adam: not that kind of gaslighting

[00:20:51] Adam: to save it for the after show.

[00:20:55] Ben: because I think about If you're a kind of a lower level employee and you're looking around, you're seeing someone in leadership and it feels like they're not doing their job, or they're not doing a good job. And you have, back channel conversations with other employees. And they're like, yeah, what's this guy doing?

[00:21:08] Ben: Like, I don't understand what he's thinking. His decisions are terrible. And then at some point he decides, quote unquote decides to leave and typically other people in leadership, oh, thank you so much for your, everything you've done here, wish you nothing, but the best of luck on your next job.

[00:21:22] Ben: And it's been so great working with you. And so I feel like you're looking at the leadership reaction and you're comparing it to your internal dialogue about what you've seen. And you're like, am I just crazy? Do I not know anything about how this company operates? That this person who I looked at and was like, this guy was a fool and everyone else is like dog pilot on how awesome they are.

[00:21:44] Ben: And I almost feel likeif, Bad leaders were explicitly called out as being bad leaders. I almost feel like it would be a moral morality boost for the company because now you're like, yeah, we all thought that too. And now we're all on the same page and that's great. We're getting rid of this bad apple and now things can finally get going.

[00:22:04] Ben: And I don't know, I've just been thinking about that a lot lately, for some reason.

[00:22:08] Carol: I will say Tim and I have seen this happen. We've seen this play out. We brought in a, a product manager who had what we thought were going to be like great goals had high expectations for him, came in the door, seemed good at first. And then it went south pretty quickly and he got fired and it was known to everyone that he's being, let go.

[00:22:32] Carol: He is not working out with us. And that's just what it's going to be. I think there were two people who were upset by this, like, oh, all he was trying to do was, make change. And he was just trying to innovate and leadership clearly isn't ready to innovate yet. Two out of the whole group shows you where the problem actually is.

[00:22:53] Carol: Like it's him not his goals or the other leadership. So I'm with you. Like, I think that it is a big boost for morale. When the crappy leaders are let go and told to, move on and everybody knows that's what happened instead of covering it up and being like, oh, we've decided to, explore other options.

[00:23:12] Carol: And I'm going to go work for a startup and catch you guys on LinkedIn. Right? Like, no, you're terrible. I'm not going to give you a good LinkedIn review. Move on.

[00:23:23] Ben: Yeah.

[00:23:23] Ben: I've been trying to think about it from their perspective or again, this is

[00:23:27] Ben: all hypothetical,

[00:23:28] Ben:

[00:23:28] Ben: from the, like the leadership perspective and like, why would they want to keep it on the down low that someone's being fired? And I think, maybe could it send not the wrong message, but just be an indication that the company was unhealthy and that they almost like don't want to even admit that there was a problem

[00:23:48] Carol: they screwed up with bringing this person in or that they weren't making the cut? Like they don't want to admit to that.

[00:23:55] Ben: that, and then also that, like, what about decisions that they've made about the company? we're firing this person because they were terrible, but they also made a lot of leadership decisions. Like, do we now have to go back and reevaluate all those leadership decisions? And like, what if those leadership decisions started to steer the company a particular direction?

[00:24:12] Ben: Like, do we now have to reevaluate the direction of the company? And I almost wonder if like, maybe part of it is like, you just don't want to open that can of worms.

[00:24:21] Adam: Hm.

[00:24:22] Ben: It's like a, I think that comes up on law and order every now and then where some,

[00:24:28] Tim: Yeah.

[00:24:28] Ben: like some district attorney I think will be found to be corrupt or something and people in the district attorney's office and be like, you don't want to open that can of worms because if you fire this person for being corrupted, you're like now we have to go back to 20 years worth of cases

[00:24:44] Carol: To see where they were corrupt.

[00:24:47] Tim: Yeah.

[00:24:47] Tim: Software's a little different than.

[00:24:50] Carol: it's not, it's not quite the same, but I could see what he's saying. Like if they were making decisions about your OKR as if they were pointing you in the direction of where you were supposed to take your teams or your company in financials or how you were going to get there.

[00:25:03] Carol: And you're like, oh, but he was making terrible decisions and now you're going Woolworth those decisions. Right. I could, I see where you're going with it.

[00:25:10] Ben: Yeah.

[00:25:11] Ben: that's just, I don't know.

[00:25:13] Carol: But I asked, like, I think firing someone in leaders. Is good to you because it keeps the other people on their toes. Right? You don't feel, I know that sounds crazy, but it's like, you don't feel like you're safe.

[00:25:26] Carol: Like I should not be sitting in a position where I feel like I can make an awful decision and I'm safe. I should go at this thinking about the impact of everyone around me, about the impact of my company, the impact of my career. And if people screw up all the time and are never fired, eventually I might, I could get to the position where unlike, well, whatever, they're not going to fire me, let's just try it and see what happens.

[00:25:50] Tim: Like I don't want to be in that spot. And I don't want the people that are at my level or above me in that spot either. I want them thinking that their decisions matter and that they are fireable. And if nobody's ever fired, then maybe they're not fireable. No.

[00:26:05] Messaging

[00:26:05] Tim: So yeah, I can weigh on this as well. So, our company got bought out by a much bigger company and part of the leadership that was there got fired, was a good.

[00:26:19] Adam: Of the existing company, like the smaller company that got bought

[00:26:23] Tim: So, so either with a smaller company, the founder got removed. Eventually he was given a chance. So he's given a chance for a couple of years to try to, take over in his new role. And then his new role was not starting in a new companies is new. And I really don't think it was his skill set. He was very much a guy who would like start something new and build it.

[00:26:45] Tim: It rather than the new role was kind of like buying other companies,

[00:26:50] Tim: uh, yeah. Acquisitions. And it was really nice skillset. And so he got like go, but honestly, some of his, there's sort of a personality type of a person who starts a new company and makes it successful,

[00:27:04] Tim: which is not the same personality that makes a successful company.

[00:27:11] Tim: In the longterm.

[00:27:12] Carol: Yeah.

[00:27:13] Carol: It's N

[00:27:14] Tim: sort of the case

[00:27:15] Carol: yes and no, it is easy to have the vision to get it going. It's some people are really good at that. Like, I can see how the start, I can see where to get, the first five years, but to maintain that and to keep it sustainable and to make it grow, that's not what everyone can do. I get bored really fast.

[00:27:31] Carol: So unlike all right, someone else take this over now and you keep it going, make it better.

[00:27:36] Tim: yeah. So he was a starter, not a maintainer

[00:27:39] Carol: Yeah.

[00:27:40] Tim: and and so letting him go, although it was painful because, we all loved him.

[00:27:45] Carol: Oh yeah.

[00:27:46] Tim: I loved him very much, but you know, it's like, it wasn't really good for long-term health of the company because he was going to continue to take starter mentality toward business opportunities rather than maintainer, to build and grow rather than just starting out.

[00:28:01] Tim: so to your point, Ben, if you see someone who is like very, you consider pivotal to the company being, let go, it really depends on the messaging on how they give that information. Right. So a lot of times it's like, they've been, let go, and there's no

[00:28:18] Carol: their last day is Friday and today's Thursday. Yeah.

[00:28:21] Tim: Yeah. it's just, it's like, not here anymore. You know,they're kind of talks to the company according to management. And then if it's like, oh, so-and-so is leaving on, a week from now. And let's all have a party for them and say goodbye. Right. That's sort of a regrettable, Elise.

[00:28:38] Tim: And we have those.

[00:28:39] Carol: we do. Yeah. Yeah. They threw me a party each time I left

[00:28:43] Tim: Yeah. Yeah. each time.

[00:28:44] Carol: yeah, freeze time.

[00:28:46] Tim: time. Yeah.

[00:28:47] Carol: come back.

[00:28:48] Tim: I will throw

[00:28:49] Carol: feed you again.

[00:28:50] Tim: We'll throw you more. Hey, clouds growing. You can join. You join me, baby.

[00:28:56] Carol: So I, I do agree. I mean, I feel like the messaging's important with when someone does leave and that does change the morale, I think, with what Ben was saying. And if they're toxic though, let's acknowledge that. Let's

[00:29:09] Carol: say

[00:29:10] Carol: this wasn't working.

[00:29:12] HR And Transparency

[00:29:12] Tim: Well, no, you can't sit you. I mean, HR, won't let you say that. Right. HR. Won't let you say, Hey, this (quack), we finally let go. They're going to be like so-and-so has been, let go. and they won't say anything about, we wish you the best in your neck. The, it would just be like is no longer.

[00:29:30] Adam: That's for legal reasons.

[00:29:31] Tim: exactly.

[00:29:32] Tim: It's totally for legal reasons, but if it's like a regrettable and you really wish they had stayed and you tried to work for it, you say, we wish you your best in your next endeavors. That's the whole messaging HR gives whenever it's a regrettable. Like a,

[00:29:45] Adam: HR is so much like a legal wing of the

[00:29:47] Adam: company,it's under the guise of managing to have the right number and type of people, but it's entirely cover your butt

[00:29:56] Adam: territory. I was just going to say, like, I think that everything else being equal transparency is the best policy,

[00:30:03] Adam: right?

[00:30:04] Tim: to a degree, if it's bad, if it's a really bad, I mean, if someone's like suing you, you really don't want transparency there.

[00:30:11] Adam: I was specifically thinking about this situation. We're talking about, like with the. Somebody getting, let go or whatever. Yeah. That's the thing is like there's internal messaging and then there's external messaging. And I think that, that depends a lot on the company culture too.

[00:30:26] Adam: Right. Or even just the company size. Right. So if somebody were to leave my company, there's five of us, there's a really slim chance that we're not all going to know exactly what's going on. but if somebody were to leave Invision or your company, Tim, like there's a really slim chance that everybody's going to know exactly what is going on.

[00:30:44] Ben: Right. Right, exactly.

[00:30:46] Tim: Yeah. they let go a couple of people two weeks ago. I'm like, I have no idea why I could ask, but like, I really don't want to know. They don't want to know. Cause I could tell from the tone of the email, it was not. They were going to somewhere

[00:31:01] Tim: better and yeah, it was like, you're not working out.

[00:31:07] Ben: But even going back to something Carol mentioned, I dunno if this was just an example, but you were saying that, that everyone thought someone was terrible except for like two people in the company. And I think if you can give some explanation as to why people are leaving, it can also shed some light for those people who don't agree with them leaving.

[00:31:24] Ben: Right. If you had a really good relationship with. That's being fired or is leaving and then it can be explained yet, and this is why they're getting fired because I did all this stuff that was really mediocre or,toxic for the company. Then it can maybe help to remove that potential residue of resentment that people who did have the good relationship might feel.

[00:31:44] Ben: Cause you're like, oh, okay. I didn't know that any of that was good.

[00:31:47] Carol: And see, I only knew about the two people that were upset about the firing or the separation of this person from the company, because I got pulled into a meeting with. The then director of the company, the engineer who had the issue and myself to discuss some of the things that did happen to get the other engineer, like on the same page as everyone else, because that person was capable of spreading some of the toxicity around saying some things shouldn't be said anyway.

[00:32:19] Carol: So we got him on the same page and was finally able to go, okay, it was justified, it was needed, Hayden, see him go, but he needed to go cause he wasn't right for this company. It doesn't mean he's not going to be right for someone else for another software, but he does not work for our software.

[00:32:34] Tim: I

[00:32:34] Ben: love you. I'm just not in love with you.

[00:32:37] Carol: Yeah. It's pretty much like that. It was like a breakup. And his, his golden parachute was, he was given a, typically we have a 24 month, I believe it's a 24 month non-compete and he was given a 12 month non-compete. So they cut his non-compete time in half. So, because he was very direct about the fact that he thought he could do what we were doing better and wanted to do that himself.

[00:33:07] Carol: So he was told to go get it up and have it going and have it ready in 12 months, then he could speak with us.

[00:33:14] Adam: Oh, wow.

[00:33:15] Adam: That talk about a backhanded compliment.

[00:33:17] Carol: yeah,

[00:33:17] Tim: seen it. Haven't seen it,

[00:33:19] Carol: never,

[00:33:20] Tim: no. Yep. Yep. It didn't happen.

[00:33:24] Ben: the,

[00:33:25] Tim: gets nasty.

[00:33:28] Carol: Yeah,

[00:33:29] Tim: they can be. I mean, most of the time it's like nothing, but yeah, one out of 50 it's really gets nasty.

[00:33:36] Ben: we've luckily I can't think of ever, leadership conversations aside. I mean, I've worked with people who are lower down in organizations that have been fired and I don't ever remember it being really negative. luckily no one's gone crazy or anything.

[00:33:49] Carol: when you started this, you said leadership, someone in a leadership role. What do you define there? Are we talking like a team lead? We talking a manager, we talking

[00:33:58] Ben: mean like the directors and SVPs and

[00:34:01] Ben: C-levels. Yeah, yeah, yeah,

[00:34:02] Ben: yeah.

[00:34:02] Ben: know, a lot of behind closed doors kind of conversations, those people.

[00:34:06] Carol: who I was referencing and all like that.

[00:34:08] Carol: That's the level I was thinking of in this conversation. And I just wanted to be sure we were on the same page.

[00:34:13] Founders Leaving

[00:34:13] Tim: Yeah, I'll be honest. So we had a founder who, was let go, and it didn't affect anything at all. Usually the founders are not really the ones who were that hands-on on. Day-to-day right. If mark Zuckerberg left Facebook, run.

[00:34:27] Carol: Still

[00:34:28] Carol: exist. It kind of goes back to what you said earlier. Like some people have that startup mentality and some have the strategic mind to

[00:34:35] Carol: keep it going. And

[00:34:36] Tim: Yup.

[00:34:36] Tim: NSR Quora, a question about, if, Elon Musk died, wood, Teslas, and S w it Starlink? Was it called?

[00:34:45] Carol: Yeah. Starlink the

[00:34:46] Tim: Yeah.

[00:34:47] Tim: w would it fail and, even Elan's goes, no,

[00:34:51] Tim: it wouldn't.

[00:34:51] Carol: right? Yeah.

[00:34:52] Carol: Yeah.

[00:34:53] Tim: I mean, it wouldn't

[00:34:53] Tim: fail.

[00:34:54] Adam: if he's done his job well then

[00:34:55] Adam: no. And, and

[00:34:57] Carol: that should be his answer is I hope not. Cause hip it does. I saw.

[00:35:04] Adam:

[00:35:04] Patreon

[00:35:04] Adam: Okay. Well then this episode of Working Code is brought to you by orbiting the sun. That's orbiting the sun. I've done it 40 times and I can strongly recommend it.

[00:35:12] Carol: wrinkles.

[00:35:13] Adam: Yeah. And also by listeners like you, if you're enjoying the show, you should consider supporting us on Patriot on it's the best way to keep this show running. Patreon donations cover the costs of editing and recording. And we couldn't do this every week without those things. We also couldn't do this every week without Tim bumping his microphone a bunch. so we appreciate all the support. We can get special. Thanks to our top patron, Monte. if you'd like to help us out, you can go to patreon.com/WorkingCodePod.

[00:35:38] Adam: all of our patrons get early access to an ad free version of new episodes and our after show. And this week I have a teaser for you,

[00:35:46] Carol: Oh,

[00:35:46] Adam: on tonight's after show. We're going to talk about facial hair and we're going to put Amazon on blast.

[00:35:56] Tim: We're in the gates like that.

[00:35:57] Adam: Yeah. so if you want content like that, patreon.com/WorkingCodePod,

[00:36:01] Thanks For Listening!

[00:36:01] Adam: do you have a question or a topic you'd like to hear us discuss? There's a lot of ways to get it to us. Like you can send it to at working code pot on Twitter or Instagram, you can join our Discord at workingcode.dev/discord.

[00:36:11] Adam: You can email us@workingcodepodatgmail.com or you can even record a voice memo on your phone and email that to us so that we can play it on the show. That's going to do it for us this week. We'll catch you next week. And until then,

[00:36:23] Tim: Remember your heart matters, even if you've been around the sun 40 times, like the old man that Adam Tuttle is

[00:36:34] Carol: May the force be with you?

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