Recently I was talking to my friend Aaron who was lamenting the attitude of a manager he supervises. He said, “She complains that she doesn’t want a supervisor’s job. She says there’s too much hiring,” and I said to her, “As a manager, that’s your job—you should always be hiring and always be firing.”
When I shared that anecdote with some friends recently and told them I was going to include it in the book, they looked at me in horror. “How do you plan on firing your children, exactly, Ahava?” (You know, some days—just kidding.)
It’s not the actual hiring or firing as an activity in and of itself that I think is the point here. It’s the attitude Aaron is espousing, which comes down to:
- Understand the people in your life and the roles they play to support you
- Identify the people who are not supporting you in the ways that you need
- Lose the emotional vampires
- Get comfortable with the revolving door metaphor of life
While raising 2 teenage girls, I truly see this as excellent advice for life. Watching their different friends come and go, and how they get closer with some friends and pull away from others when things change is a sign of a healthy attitude and a growth mindset. Our own growth is predicated on how well we understand ourselves, as well as the impact others make on us.
When you understand that friends and colleagues and mentors and mentees come and go, you open up the emotional space to let others enter your life. While there is grief in losing close friends, employees and colleagues, that’s the reality of life.
Cultivating the attitude of “always be hiring, always be firing,” will get your teams and children attuned to the realities of relationships with others.