How To Get Fired When You Are Successful

Ten Reasons You May Get Fired

You may have been taught, and believed, that showing up, working hard and reaching or exceeding your goals would guarantee your success.

Not any longer.

Now we know that the most important thing in an organization is not revenue, profit, quality products or services or its stock price.

As Steve Moran is fond of saying, “the most important thing in any organization is culture.”

Every organization is a living organism, and when the culture is bad, you don’t even have to name it.  It is rotting so bad you can smell it.

What often happens to good people is that they didn’t make any mistakes except one: they missed the signs that their organization/organism was unhealthy enough to cast them out simply for calling attention to the terrible odor swirling around.

Here are ten reasons capable and talented people get fired, reasons that senior housing operators are not immune to and it must be stopped if we are to attract and retain good talent:

  1. You can get fired if your excellent results on the job cause embarrassment to those “higher up” in the organization. Haven’t you learned that the smartest people in any organization are those who work at nor near the top?  They would rather get rid of you than ask “How did you do it? We’d like you to teach everyone else to do what you’re doing.”


  1. You can get fired for asking questions no one wants to answer or even think about — questions like “Are we sure this is still the best way to handle our (broken, cumbersome) move in process?” or “When are we going to get serious about our flagging occupancy?


  1. You can get fired for setting normal boundaries like “I will finish that project on Monday rather than take it home over the weekend.”  Or, “I have a dinner engagement with my spouse at 6:00 so I won’t be able to work late.”


  1. You can get fired for naming the elephant in the room — the topic that desperately needs airtime but isn’t getting it. In senior housing it is often things like the inordinate number of residents moving out of the community that nobody really wants to address.


  1. You can get fired for having a better idea than your boss’s idea. What?


  1. You can get fired for getting too much positive attention from top leaders in your organization. Many mid-level managers (area, regional or divisional managers in senior housing vernacular) see you as a friend or foe, with not much in between.  You may look like a foe, a threat, if you get too much attention from those above your boss.


  1. You can get fired for doing such a good job that other departments get angry (they are in truth insecure and jealous). Other managers may tell your supervisor “Your employee is making us look bad!” The employee doing a great job is labeled a brown-noser to the boss and profoundly gossiped about.


  1. You can get fired for having too much visibility outside your company — being asked to speak at community events or having an article published. If you work in an unhealthy organization, they will not appreciate the attention and affirmation you are receiving, even though it is helping gain visibility for the company.


  1. You can get fired for moving too fast and having too many ideas for your manager’s taste. In one position I had, I filled up the large white board in my office with quotes, ideas and outlines of things I wanted to discuss with employees.  My boss never once commented on the content on the board.


  1. You can get fired for accomplishing so much at work that your boss wonders “Will this guy come after my job next?” Its an odd paradox that sometimes people who are climbing the ladder in an organization do just enough to get by.

Only stick around in a culture where the air smells clean, plants are growing and the food is fresh.










About Me

I’m committed to elevating the lives of people and creating dynamic communities where people live in joy and meaningful connections. I have devoted myself to creating seniors housing communities with record occupancies, solid financial performance and teams who dream big and create the impossible.

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