These people do not belong within your organization if it is your desire to grow a happy and prosperous enterprise.

Some individuals with certain personality characteristics are not suited to an innovative, happy and prosperous work culture.  

I am always telling all of my employees, clients, and children to work hard, work smart, and be consistent and never give up. As long as you are swinging you are winning. Don’t ever lose the sense of wonder, and always expect great things to happen. Your mind is only capable of positive outcomes, it is incapable of “not doing something”. So when I tell you not to imagine an elephant, the first thing your mind does is picture an elephant. Having said all that I must also teach you how to fire people. Having worked with innovative, diligent, and tenacious people over the last four decades, I have learned that a key trait of smart leaders is their uncanny ability to identify and jettison negative people from among their ranks.

If you want a happy working environment and culture, fire all the unhappy people.  Keeping that in mind here is my advice and reasoning concerning when and why you should fire people. After doing your best to train, educate and change their attitude, if you are still faced with these three types, it is time to boot them out the door.


Victims are always in search of problems, never solutions, they perpetually feel victimized, and persecuted. These people can never find a challenge to overcome to them every opportunity is another reason to blame and complain about how the world is unfair and persecuting them.  We can all feel, and play a victim sometimes, but these people, it seems, are born victims, and this state has become the way of life for them. They feel mistreated, misjudged, and misunderstood by processes, people, and even inanimate things equally. Their lifeblood and energy are derived from playing the victim. Anger and a complaining mantra seem to be their modus-operandi. You might think and believe everything is running along perfectly, and out of the blue Joe, the victim will find something, anything to moan and groan about.

You see victims are not interested in opportunity and challenges, they are looking for problems, and they fancy themselves devil’s advocate. These people are incapable of innovating or finding solutions to challenges because their internal circuits are not powered by possibility.

So if you desire an organization that is happy, thriving, and prosperous, you do not want the type of people who are “I don’t get paid enough to do this, this is not my job, I don’t understand why they promoted her over me, she is clueless…..”. You simply cannot have victims. Fire the victims immediately.


“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right,” said Henry Ford, however, nonbelievers have a very different attitude, they are the people who are always demanding proof before doing anything, their motto is “show me first then maybe I will believe it”  They have seen things fail before so they are not interested in doing or believing anything because it will fail again. The universe, however, does not work that way, if you cannot believe it you will never see it. As an entrepreneur, leader, and trailblazer you just cannot afford to have people on your team who are unable to believe in your vision.

In my experience, nothing ever happens until and unless it is first thought, and then a belief in someone’s mind. JFK imagined us going to the moon, and everyone on the team Apollo believed it before Neil Armstrong ever put foot on the moon. I can almost guarantee that there were no nay-Sayers on that team that put the first man on the moon. The link between believing and succeeding is absolute.

Great leaders are above everything else visionaries, see farther and clearer than anyone else, and possess an uncanny ability to find and promote believers within their organizations. The cancerous effect that nonbelievers have on a team is not lost on great leaders and they do not tolerate it and will cut them out of the organization quickly and without regret.

A leader who professes to be a catalyst for change and betterment of humanity and yet has a team that harbors nonbelievers, he is simply paying lip service to the mission and objective, he is in denial or he is simply a lousy leader. Which one are you?

In life, you will never get what you want, only who you are. Fire the nonbelievers immediately.

The Know-It-Alls:

The best leaders and innovators are learners, they are the first to admit their lack of knowledge. They are the ones who are always saying “I don’t know”. Not knowing allows for the possibility of knowing, when you already know there can be no possibility of learning. Those who know nothing tend to be the most confident in their knowledge. We call that the Dunning-Kruger effect. The same is true of innovative cultures; they are learning cultures.

The leaders who have or would like to build innovative, thriving cultures, must understand that in order to do so, they must be open to discovery, they must be eager to seek out things they do not understand, and jump right into the deep end. Innovators and entrepreneurs are fearless in the face of adversity and failure, they are eager students who learn quickly and share their gained knowledge and wisdom with their teams. When this is our behavior, we empower others around us to follow suit, and viola we have a wonderful culture and organization.

Obviously, there is nothing wrong with asking questions that challenge a hypothesis, a strategy, or an idea. However, know-it-alls typically do not ask questions. Instead, they give lectures.

Our system of education, rewards, and celebration is all skewed towards promoting the ones who seem to display knowledge or profess to know. These are the people who tend to rise in organizations. In school, it is the one who knows the most that get the best grades, goes to the best college and earns the best salary. In the job, the person who can figure things out the quickest is often celebrated. And, unfortunately, it is often the smartest, most seasoned employee who eventually becomes an expert in using their knowledge to explain why things are impossible rather than possible.

You have been a creator all your life it is time once again to do so by creating new opportunities for your victims, know-it-alls, and your nonbelievers somewhere else by firing them immediately.