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Beyond Biden's "you're fired"

Contrast Biden's "you're fired on the spot, no ifs ands or buts" with Nelson Mandela's first address to staff.

Mandela does everything possible to allay staff fears that they would be fired given their careers working for a racist apartheid government. Then he urges: "All I ask is that you do your work to the best of your ability and with a good heart." Gold standard.

There is a reason why we all recoiled at Trump's "you're fired" machismo. Because it is anti-democratic in spirit (ignores due process, mitigating circumstances, prior record and violates natural justice, etc).

It also happens to be illegal to "fire people on the spot, no ifs ands or buts" for an alleged act of disrespect.

I shudder to think how many eager to look ethical and decisive managers will try this move thinking they are doing a great thing.

Fear-based leadership is less than what we need in our organizations today. I'm sure we can agree there are better ways to foster respectful workplace cultures.


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