An under performing employee is something every manager or leader will have to face sooner or later, but what’s the best approach? Some will tell you that poor performance is solely down to a lack of ability or self-discipline. Others will duck the issue and just try to remain ‘friends’ with everyone on the team. As with everything in business the balance lies somewhere in the middle.
When Lou Gerstner took over as CEO of IBM in 1993, he took the reigns of an old and prestigious institution with a rich history. Gerstner had no computer industry experience, but he did have deep leadership experience. And taking over at IBM he would need every bit of it: IBM had suffered a multibillion dollar loss and was burning cash.
“There’s been a lot of speculation as to when I’m going to deliver a vision of IBM [but] the last thing IBM needs right now is a vision,” Gerstner said at his first press conference. He needed to make some tough decisions and get the his new team members working together effectively – fast.