i have a friend i've brought with me between a few different companies over the last 6-7 years. He was [is[ a brilliant worker and someone you could [can] depend on to get the work done no matter what.

over the last 6 months i've noticed a dramatic change in attitude and performance. I've approached him about it several times with no success.

where i'm at is, this friend of mine's performance (or lack of) has become apparent to my CTO.

i guess i'm looking for advice on how to come out of this with the star performer he used to be, and the friend that i value as well.

thanks in advance

jprlopez's picture

Hi Stephen,

I have a friend I have almost been working with most of my career and its safe to say most of my team look to me as a friend.

One approach which has been useful is that I set clear expectations that work is work, commitments are commitments and their performance is always tied to results. Feedback is important at all times.

If you haven't done so, check out the podcast on "How to Fire Someone - Almost".

I see being a friend actually as a positive in the sense that it becomes harder to fire a friend and I get more motivation to invest in the process outlined in the cast.

Hope this helps

smorison's picture

thanks for the input.

been busy getting through all the podcasts will "fast forward" to this one.

thanks again

Mark's picture
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Whatever you do, don't be so willing to be a kind friend that you forget to be a boss. And be both if you can.

What that means is lots of feedback, coaching if necessary, and clear description of where he's heading. At worst, it's, "Name, if you continue like this, I'll still want to be your friend, but I'll fire you if things don't change."

I hope it never does, and he opens up. But if he doesn't and it doesn't, do your job. OTHERS are counting on you.


ctomasi's picture

I have a similar situation with a friend of 25 years (and three jobs together.) My recent promotion now changes me from his peer to his manager for the first time in our lives.

We have regularly talked openly about the change and keeping business and personal lives separate. We both know we have a job to do at work and we do our best to get it done. One minute I can be delivering adjusting feedback and later that same day we will be discussing our wives and kids. The trick is to know where to draw the line.

Incidentally, my friend/direct walked in while I was reading that last post so I read him Mark's quote in stilted tone (so he knew it wasn't real) and agreed I could mention our friendship and professional relationship.