Recently I got an e-mail from a desperate bridal store owner about an employee that wasn’t performing well. She explained to me how this bridal consultant wasn’t getting good results because she had low self-esteem which made it hard for her to get brides to buy dresses. As a result the owner was doing most of the selling herself. She wanted to know what I would do in her situation. She said that – and I found this remarkable – the consultant was good in everything else and had been with her for a very long time. I couldn’t help but wonder what else this bridal consultant could be so damn good at that it would allow her to keep her job in a sales position even though she was not selling?

Maybe this will comes across a bit harsh, but when it comes down to business it is very simple: if your staff is not doing their job properly then it is your job to show them how to do it differently. If things don’t change, then there is no other way but to let them go. Yes…sack them! It takes a little courage to fire people but keeping on consultants that are not functioning will costs you a lot more than the fifteen minutes that it will take to fire them.

Usually, our desire to be liked causes us to delay making tough decisions. Sometimes managers and store owners become too close to their team, which makes it hard to continue to be effective as leaders. There are exceptions to this rule, but in general: Your boss is not your friend and your employees are not your friends, writes Sophia Amoruso in her book #GIRLBOSS Your number one loyalty should be with your business and not with your employees. By keeping someone on because they have been with you for a long time, or because they have two kids at home, or because they are good at making nice window displays, are not good enough reasons if they are not good at the job that you pay them for. That’s the nature of the business, as tough as it may sound.

Eventually, it is not good for them either. Nobody is happy at a job that they are not good at. A lot of people are scared to go out to find the thing that they are good at, and so they stay. When they are made to move on, they will look back at it as the push they needed to get off their asses and find that something that they are truly passionate about. Everybody is good at something. Everybody.

A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. -Douglas MacArthur