Once upon a time there was young entrepreneur who dreamed of becoming rich by building a large IT company.  He started out with some big ideas but very little money, so when he was confronted with an economic recession, barely a year into his venture, he faced a terrible dilemma. With revenue dropping like a stone, he had no choice but to fire one of his two faithful engineers. But who to choose? 

Should it be Charlie or Jim? Charlie was a carefree young man, a little like himself, always smiling, positive for the future and good with the customers and then there was Jim; serious and responsible, considerate and kind, a thoroughly honest and professional engineer. While deciding the young entrepreneur considered two recent events that came to mind.

One day Charlie was working on a client’s PC when he made a thoughtless mistake.  The result was that it took him two very long days to complete a task normally planned for less than an hour!  The young entrepreneur was very cross with Charlie “with your bungling and sloppiness you are sure to drive me out of business!” He said.  But moments later the phone rang, it was the customer.  The young entrepreneur began to apologize “Please don’t apologize” said the client “Your Charlie faced a terribly difficult technical problem, if it hadn’t been for him it would have been a disaster for sure.  Thank goodness he discovered it early enough to be able to solve it without any loss of my data! I just want to thank him and to tell him there’s a bottle of champagne waiting for him in reception the next time he’s passing by.”

Now Jim, hardly ever made a mistake but one day he did “oh! Bother!” he said out loud, “I should have checked that sooner.”  “Is everything OK?” asked the customer, “yes it’s fine, I just made a small mistake, nothing I cannot fix but it will take me about an hour and then I will be out of your way, very sorry”.  The customer muttered something underneath his breath and carried on with what he was doing before Jim had interrupted him.  Fifty minutes later, Jim was on his way back to base, quite prepared to make up the lost time in his lunch break.  When he got back the young entrepreneur was there waiting “Hey, Jim! I’ve just had your last customer on the phone; he was complaining that you took too long and he wants me to deduct an hour off the bill.  He wasn’t very happy at all.”

When the young entrepreneur had made up his mind as to who he must fire he called Jim into his office. “Sit down please Jim, I have some rather bad news for you, as you know we’ve hit a financial tough spot and I am not sure we can get through it without some changes, so I am very sorry to tell you but I have decided to let Charlie go. I hope you understand but I had no other choice?”

Well who would you have kept on?

Have a good week,