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2013 Time to Get Fired

As January starts to wind down, most of the great intentions and resolutions begin to fall by the wayside. That shiney new gym membership has already lost its luster along with the goal to drop ten pounds. The same thing happens to most of us on our plans for the new fiscal year. Oh sure, we did all that heavy budget planning and wrote all those great business plans to execute in 2013, but face it, chances are you are slowly drifting off the intended path.

The challenge is that it is so easy to drift back to what worked the year before or back to the ways that we have always used in the past. It’s very hard to break our human tendencies and consistently affect constant change and improvement. In fact if we look at our normal actions, we spend upwards of half our time defending poor or bad decisions we made in the past just so we don’t have to admit that we made a bad call or were wrong.

So how do we fix this vicious cycle and bring our careers to a new and higher level of performance? The answer will sound simple but it takes discipline to execute. In a nutshell, you need to fire yourself. Yes, plain and simple, getting fired from your job will force you to be better at it as the new guy. I learned this lesson from doing six company turnarounds. I was always coming in after someone got the axe and I was the new guy. Since I was new, I could question everything that was done in the past. Think about it, every decision that was ever made I had the purview to call it into question. I could then make any changes and I did not have to defend some old decision that I had made in the past (it was the other guy that made that call).

Once I had that freedom to make the moves to drive real positive change, I realized that the only way I could keep that freedom of being unencumbered by the past was to stay being the “new” guy. I learned that if I fired myself and came in every month as the new guy I could easily correct any bad calls I made in the past. The new guy never cares why the bad decision was made; they only care that they can fix it fast so that the organization can reach its maximum potential.

So as you go into 2013, instead of making a bunch of grandiose resolutions that will be broken before the ink dries, try to fire yourself and look at your position like your replacement would. With practice, you will learn to do this on a monthly basis and you will drive the real change your organization needs. You will free up your time from defending old and bad calls and you will shift into the mode of being a true change agent that constantly drives your company forward. So when you finish reading this, FIRE YOURSELF and get started on your new career as the “new” guy!

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About Jim Kanir

Jim Kanir directs all facets of Billtrust sales and marketing efforts. He is a veteran executive in the high-tech arena with management success in SaaS and enterprise software firms that put a high premium on exemplary customer service. Prior to joining Billtrust, Jim was CRO at M5 Networks, COO for Powerway, Inc., and President and…