How do you choose between the company and the relationship?

Don’t tell me you’ve never had to choose between what is best for the company and  a family member, a business partner or a friend in the organization. Excruciatingly difficult, isn’t it?

A recent discussion I had with a business leader was about a member of the organization who was not pulling his weight. They are partners. They have worked together for many years. They are friends.For where the organization is now, there does not seem to be a place for this individual.

It can’t just stay like this. The decision challenges his values, his personal and business goals and the future relationship with that individual, and maybe their supporters.

It also challenges the future of his business.

How he react depends on his style of decision-making, his personal history and the culture he grew up in.

Is there one right way or one wrong way to manage a difficult situation like this? I’m not sure that there is. I do know that it doesn’t get better without addressing it.

Having a honest conversation about “What is” is the first step. Followed by a series of scheduled check in dates with accountabilities and expected outcomes. This starts an important time line towards a conclusion.

It is important to conduct these meetings with an awareness of how hard this is for everyone. Maintaining openness to more than one possible outcome may lead to a better solution than one would anticipate.


In a way, it is not about the solution. Is about the process to getting to a best fit.  And, it is the hardest thing to do in a partnership at work or at home.


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