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Making it work when you have too

Making it work under difficult circumstances is what start-ups are all about yes? Sometimes, you just have to grin and bear it to make it to the next jump before you can move on to find the right fit due to client deadlines.

We are working on finding a replacement for a position, but it's not going to be quick or easy with our limited budget.

So...What are some good practices for continuing to work with someone that does not fit on the team in order to get to a milestone? What are some practices to keep moral up as they have to work with this person?



14 Replies

Jason Wang
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Jason Wang Entrepreneur
Founder & CEO at TrueVault. A HIPAA Compliant Secure API to Store Health Data.
Alison,

Sounds like this person is poisoning your team. My recommendation is to get rid of this person as soon as possible. This is the good ol' addition by subtraction idiom. It's going to hurt when you pull the band-aid off. But I'm sure by getting rid of this person, you'll get a big boost in team moral and you'll get more productivity out of everyone else. I would be straight with your team and say you need them to all crank it up another notch. But I guarantee you, getting rid of a rockstar poison is the better choice both long and short run.

I learned this the hard way by keeping someone who doesn't fit with the team in order to meet a milestone.

Jason
Alison Lewis
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Alison Lewis Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO/Creative Director
I agree with you. There are reasons for keeping them on for a couple weeks. Happy to learn from your experience offline in a discussion. :)
Mitchell Portnoy
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Mitchell Portnoy Entrepreneur
Healthcare Information Executive
Sometimes you have to cut bait before you catch that fish. Keeping around a liability to achieve a goal, when others know it, informs the group that their jobs are necessarily safe either. Making the right decision sometimes means making it at a time that's inconvenient. If you're actions are being watched as your question suggests, you may be better respected by making the hard call and then bringing in staff for a frank discussion about why and why now you made the change and then ask for a broader team effort. You might be surprised at how your team answers the challenge when dead wood is cut. Enough metaphors? Typos courtesy of my iPhone
Alison Lewis
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Alison Lewis Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO/Creative Director
We have to hire someone, this is a very specialized role. I assume when we cut, the team will make an all hands on deck effort to help find that next person to take over?
Mitchell Portnoy
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Mitchell Portnoy Entrepreneur
Healthcare Information Executive
That was supposed to read NOT necessarily safe either. Typos courtesy of my iPhone
Mitchell Portnoy
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Mitchell Portnoy Entrepreneur
Healthcare Information Executive
You'd be surprised at how helpful motivated employees can be when they're asked to be part of the solution Typos courtesy of my iPhone
Graeham Ford-Feliz
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Graeham Ford-Feliz Entrepreneur
CEO at Emergent Coast
I've never experienced this first hand, but I've heard plenty of stories that echo the recommendations from Jason and Mitchell. Were I in this situation, I would be following their advice.

Good luck.
Clynton Caines
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Clynton Caines Entrepreneur
SharePoint Developer at Discover Technologies
Absolutely agree with the comments... cut bait. It will hurt, and you'll need a rock-star replacement fast. Sounds like the perfect opportunity to both show courage and to have your team step up and help you (win-win-lose). If together you can only find a b-player to get you through the milestone, that's probably about the same as using the rockstar poison-player anyway.
Alison Lewis
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Alison Lewis Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO/Creative Director
Alright everyone, I hope I am allowed to ask for somerecommendationsor references for hardware/pcb manf. houses you've worked with that do small runs and prototyping in the bay area.

Where do these people hang out? Is there a PCB prototype group conference coming up? I know about IEEE, but that is about it.

Any shared knowledge to empower the search would be very helpful.

It would be good for the group to have list like this as well! Thank you!

Alison Lewis
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Alison Lewis Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO/Creative Director
I'd like to bring this topic back up and update everyone one what has happened.

I went over getting firing the engineer with my team, everyone said this is not the time to sink or swim the company.

The engineer, who is a great engineer, is slowing down our team in lateness while delivering good product. He's not showing up on time, not working closely with our other mechanical engineer. He's not working out as described above.

We have a deadline coming up and no other hardware engineer in sight at this time. We are doing a balls to the wall search to find someone so we can move on after the delivery of the schematics and code.

That is where we are. If anyone has ever been in this difficult of a situation, I could sure use some advice.

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