As the incoming pastor, I asked the church committee not to terminate Manley, a staff member whose chief failing was that he was ineffective. The committee was willing to cut him loose before I arrived to save me the trouble.
“Give me a chance to work with him,” I said quickly and perhaps a little naively.
A year later, after finding him lazy and incapable of doing the work his position required and with no other spot on the church staff suitable for him, I released him.
He was so angry at me.
That evening, I was complaining to my wife about the unfairness of his criticism. Hadn’t I saved his job for a full year? Hadn’t we given him ample warning and opportunities to improve? Weren’t we providing generous severance?
Margaret said, “Joe, be realistic. You want to fire a man and have him like it.”
I guess I did. (His anger made me feel that I had failed him in some way, even though the personnel committee met with Manley that very evening to assure him the decision was unanimous. That helped me a little, but not much. Manley moved…Continue Reading