Coach Up or Out: What to Do When Jack’s Skills Aren’t What You Need Any More

In a previous article, “Why You Might Have To Fire Your Jack-Of-All Trades,” I explained that versatile employees able to perform in a number of capacities can be an asset during start-up, but can later become a significant obstacle to growth.

Instead of having a team of utility players covering all the bases, a growing business will likely need to employ subject-matter experts with the skill sets to drive business outcomes and take a company to the next level. Unlike the Jacks, the Masters are able to manage, expand and lead their specialized divisions, while maintaining vastly different capabilities and qualifications than the CEO.

It can be a very difficult decision to let good people go, especially if they have proven to be competent, loyal and hard-working during the initial phases of the company. It might even feel ruthless. But there comes a time when it is necessary to assess if everyone working for you is the right fit for the future.

Reach Out and Coach Out

Utility players deserve a chance to rise to the occasion by demonstrating their ability to learn and specialize. Give them the opportunity to decide whether or not they can make that transition, and let them choose what’s best for themselves, and for the company.

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An intrepid business owner should facilitate the process by leading a candid employer-employee conversation about corporate goals and the role every employee plays in achieving them.

If you suspect that your Jack-Of-All Trades is no longer the fit your company needs, coaching them out is a respectful approach to transitioning at the crossroads.

By empowering the employee to make the choice and ultimately own the decision whether to stay or go, you create a win-win situation. Either, you now have an opportunity to retain and develop a keen subject-matter expert out of a loyal employee; or, you reward a good worker with a dignified exit.

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  • All
  • Core Concepts
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Coach Up or Out: What to Do When Jack’s Skills Aren’t What You Need Any More

In a previous article, “Why You Might Have To Fire Your Jack-Of-All Trades,” I explained that versatile employees able to perform in a number of …

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