If you hadn’t heard, the president of Cadillac was abruptly fired last week by General Motors (see this article.).
You need to learn why, so it doesn’t happen to you.
Senior leaders in companies can get fired for a number of reasons, and the two you can always count on are:
Character or integrity issues
Bad decision making leading to poor financial performance
In Cadillac’s case, it seems like product sales dropped off and negatively affected the company’s financial performance. It may not seem fair: Presidents don’t sell the product so why should they lose their jobs? It’s all about the decisions made or not made that resulted in lower sales. A president is accountable for that.
Confidently make decisions based on data, your experience, and others’ opinions. And always use common sense.
Keep in mind these timeless truths about decision making when you’re in a leadership position:
- Deciding to make a product that customers don’t want will come back to bite you.
- Providing large incentives (discounts) to sell more product rarely gets you to the bottom line you need.
- Who you decide to put in charge of launching new products will matter.
- How you prioritize your own activities, projects, or tasks will send strong signals to people in your organization.
- Not making a decision—or significantly delaying decision making on important issues—will often lead to a larger problem down the road.
Leadership is challenging work. You can make it less challenging if you:
- Get really good at making the right decisions.
- Quickly recognize and correct any wrong decisions you make, because you will make some.
- Learn from the mistakes made by you and others, then don’t make them again.