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The big sports news in Seattle last week was that the Seahawks traded their $20 million (plus three draft choices) mistake, i.e. Percy Harvin. Interestingly, last Thursday I attended a seminar on culture and one of the things the speaker said was that you can’t change your (bad) culture if you keep the same people.

So, the Seahawks had a cancer in their locker room and they got rid of him. I see three lessons here that we all can use.

  • Cut your losses. The team’s attitude was that they took a risk, it didn’t work out and they were willing to get rid of him. I can’t tell you how many people make an large investment in their business (or their team), realize it’s not working but continue to press on because, “we’ve got so much invested in this.” I had a client buy a great business because the owners expanded into another market, it didn’t work, but they wouldn’t cut their losses.
  • Get rid of the people causing the problem. Don’t worry if they’re extremely talented, have solid customer relationships, have a wealth of product knowledge or anything else. None of these things are going to matter if they tear about the company by causing others to leave or be unproductive.
  • Take action. Don’t stew about it, just do it and do it fast. And not just with people. It can be with ineffective marketing campaigns, a product line that doesn’t sell or even a bad customer. While facilitating a marketing strategy retreat for a client recently I told them, “The only thing worse than no customers is a bad customer.”

“I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.” Muhammad Ali

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