Like a Family? Or just a Favorite?

The Good Enough, The Bad and The Ugly Behavior

Today’s Scene: The Good Enough


Boss Loyal wanted to do the right thing by the people he believed in and that made up his staff. They gave to the company and he always dreamed of being able to take care of his employees. Boss Loyal really enjoyed his staff. They rocked. And most of all, he really valued Employee Bad Luck for his skills as a platform designer. He was a magician with client projects. This time though…it was really starting to go long. Employee Bad Luck was in jail. 3 weeks had passed by and they were still finalizing a court date.

Employee Bad Luck insisted he was innocent. Boss had spoken with his own legal counsel to be sure he was not putting clients, the team or the company at risk by keeping him on. They did not have an employment contract or a union to worry about either. The charges were not violent in nature and were being pressed by a family member. The situation had nothing to do with how he would show up or interact with clients on the job. Boss Loyal believed Employee.  He went to visit him at the jail.



Employee Loyal was surprised and very appreciative that Boss Loyal came to visit. It was because he could not afford the bond that Employee Bad Luck had to stay in jail until the trial. Boss Loyal explained he believed in him and that the company was currently using an independent contractor to make sure the projects were moving forward. Boss did explain that this was an investment because it cost the company more than if Employee Bad Luck was doing the job.

Employee said he understood and definitely wanted to keep his job. However, he also knew that an end was likely coming to the Boss’s patience and goodwill.

The Boss asked for a straight answer on when Employee really expected to be cleared and able to come back to work. Employee swore his attorney was working to get this all thrown out…maybe as early as next week.

Boss Loyal had his doubts and the knowledge that 4 more projects would be sold in the next 2 weeks. But Employee Bad Luck was his best guy.

Boss Action!

Today’s lesson: A Boss makes sure that the star employee doesn’t “hold up” the whole team!

Boss Loyal offered to give employee Bad Luck an additional 3 weeks to get this sorted out. Employee Bad Luck agreed. While Boss cares about Employee, he has more than one employee AND all of the clients to protect too.

If the company doesn’t have an in-house platform designer the workflows would be severely disabled. Losing profits can affect the employment of other team members too. Lastly, there is uncertainty for employees of whether this is fueled by kindness or favoritism (TRUST ME! They will be watching and judging how this would go if it were THEM in the center of the issue.) and the real possibility of a negative reputation of the company due to any delays from all the turnover and changes.

Building your company as a family can bring joy, security and high performance. However, a Boss knows that as soon as one person in the team is prioritized over the business’ needs, that team can start to crack apart. There is a reason that parents are supposed to be sure the kids don’t know who the favorite is! In small business especially, a consistent and impartial priority of the company’s needs frees the business from a lot of the gossip, bad feelings and personal offense. And it absolutely enhances decision making and relieves stress for the Boss.

Boss Loyal had to terminate Employee Bad Luck in the end. The case ran too long regardless of the outcome. Boss asked Employee to stay in touch so that if the position became open again in the future, they could try to re-connect. Don’t let your star employee hold your company hostage!

Scale on purpose,


Want this Talmar It Up blog delivered to you every week?  SIGN UP to get this and other insights on hiring and managing your own kick-ass team to scale your business. Got a Question?