Former Navy SEAL Explains Why “B-Players” Are Dangerous For Your Business


– [Attendee] On that same
note a follow up question. So, how do you personally
balance when to actually let someone go? When the cost-benefit
analysis is too great. Maybe in your case, the
guy had so much value. – The cost to replace him
would have been way too high. – [Attendee] Got it. But if he didn’t have a great value then you would just release. – So your question is when do you– – [Attendee] What’s the
fine line to letting them stay on the team and isolate them? – The answer is yesterday. It’s always yesterday. The time to let someone go is earlier. I’ve never been in a situation where I have asked that question, be like, “I think it might be
time to let this one go.” And not have should
have done it weeks ago. Sifu, I’d be interested if you… You’ve interacted, I can
imagine thousands of people within this. I’m interested to hear your perspective, if you’re on that same side with it. – [Dan] I totally agree. Usually what happens is the people who they should’ve let them go. They know already. – You’re torturing them. – They know. Either they know they’re
getting away with it. Or they are just hiding
like not saying anything. But they either know
it’s a matter of time. And when you bring that
up, usually it’s like oh, finally. It’s that kind of thing, right. Even before the pre-CIB, I told the leader, a couple
of leaders got fired. I said don’t even come. I don’t want them here. I should have done that months ago. I’m just busy with so many things. But when I saw a number
of things, I’m like that person shouldn’t be here. The same idea. It’s just what I’ve learned
even in the last four months, how much destruction, how
toxic one person can be. Just one. And you guys know. If I was to ask you
one-on-one, you would know that the asshole shouldn’t be here. You know that. But sometimes you may be
afraid of talk to me about it. It’s okay, tell me about it. I’ll cut that person’s head off. (audience laughs) It’s okay. You know it, we all know
it, they shouldn’t be here. – And the challenge I have. My job was to save lives. And sacrifice mine in order to do it. Or at least be okay with that. So I have a horrible time with this because I wanna save everyone. And if I get to suffer in the process of saving you (animated
noise), it’s the best thing in my life. Like that’s my personality challenge. And so, I agree with
Sifu and the fact that you’re torturing the poor soul. ‘Cause if they know their… They know if they’ve
got connection or not. They’re not disconnected. Imagine going into an environment where you feel inauthentic,
you can’t be vulnerable and you don’t trust anyone. And if you’re like, “I
don’t know, I don’t have any worth around here. I don’t represent any value.” That would be miserable. And that’s why I’ve started
to say wait a minute. I’m actually hurting the person
I’m trying to take care of by keeping them around. And so– – And they, maybe they even within Team Dan Lok, last 30 days
we fired three people. That have been with me for some time. Three people. One, three years. I tell them the same thing, it’s within our team with the growth, within a team
there maybe a three or four. But outside the team there could be a 10. It’s not that bad, it’s
just within this environment they are stressed out. What is required is
outside their capabilities. It’s like you wouldn’t send
one of your team members to a dangerous mission knowing
that they’re going to fail. It doesn’t make sense; it
puts the whole team in danger. So that’s what happens. It’s not always an easy decision. But as a leader I have
to make that decision. It’s not popular, right? When I fired my COO, it’s
not popular, trust me. – And it causes, it causes… Any change is gonna cause
conflict because as a cave person, we’re… Resources were limited. That’s the big difference
from modern society to here. As a cave person resources were limited, that meant any change takes more resources: mental
resources, physical resources. So we are conditioned to be
lazy and not like change. So we want to conserve
resources and so that’s why we’ll often times keep someone around because it’s just like, aw, that change there’s gonna be some conflict to it. We’re gonna have to take
resources to build it. So the concept of (mumbles) within, that’s why I like to give out options. Some people are critical a
lot, they can be isolated. Create the environment
where they get to work and stay here, while the
organization goes up. That’s fine. As long as were clear on
it and, or get rid of it. The answer I want you to
remember is yesterday. If I pose a question to
myself: do I need to get rid of this person? The answer is always yes, yesterday. Before I’ve done that, I’ve gone through is it a behavior issue,
is it a capability issue. It’s a capability issue:
what’s the cost for me to increase their capability? Is it worth it? Yes or no. No, get rid of ’em. – [Dan] Larry can you share
the quote one more time. I think it’s a very profound quote. What you just shared, the perception. – Perception? – [Dan] Yeah, every
decision that you make. – Especially in this
perspective, so think about it, not from your perspective but
from a perspective of someone that is very, very, being ineffective. Every choice they make there’s one caveat. Do they have intent to harm? So, I ask that first. Does this person have intent
to harm me or the organization? Yes or no. If it’s yes, then I visit them
in the middle of the night, and we talk. (audience laughs) – [Dan] Take them out. – No we talk, we talk. So, do they have intent? Sometimes, I mean, you run
across people that have intent to cause you harm. Okay, that’s easy. They don’t have intent. If they don’t have
intent, so this person’s making ineffective choices. Every choice they make in their minds, conscious
or subconscious, is perfect. Is the exact choice, the
best choice they can make. They can make the best choice and still have it be ineffective. And so, when you go from that perspective, all of a sudden, for
me, it completely drains any emotional charge I have. Which as a manager, I
don’t wanna go into this with emotional charge like,
“This fucker, why do they “keep doing this to me?” No, they aren’t. They’re trying their damnedest to do good. They either don’t know how or they can’t. Because of the behavior. And so that’s the questions. Again my engineering brain
goes through flow charts. Is there intent to harm, yes or no? Yes, visit them tomorrow night. No, no there is no intent to harm. Is this a capability issue? Or, a personality issue, a way
of being, a behavior issue? It’s a capability issue. What skill do they need they don’t have? Cost-benefit. It’s a behavior issue. What way of being is causing them trouble? Is it ego, is it fear,
is it lack of self-worth? You can go into all these behavior things. Which one is it? Cost-benefit to change it. Yes, put in the effort. No, fire ’em yesterday. – And the perception is
you can say it’s perception or it could be the mindset. It could be the mindset. Sometimes what Sifu realizes is when you upgrade the mindset,
you get a perception, which I’m gonna talk about
at actually day two at CIB, that they feel like,
oh now, I’ve got a new, I wear the cape. I have a new perception. What they don’t know is, there’s still other stuff in front of it. But they don’t see it. They think, I got it, right? I don’t have issues anymore. It’s like when you have problems seeing, like how come I can’t read. Let me wear my glasses. I think it’s better, but you don’t know what is the perfect eyesight. It’s just better. But it’s not the perfect eyesight. And what I notice sometimes
you could change it. Sometimes you can’t. Sometimes it’s deep-rooted issues. – So, you can always change it. There’s a cost. – [Dan] But do they want to change it? – I can get you to do anything you want. I’ll threaten your life. (laughter) And on top of that I
can get you to do things that you never thought were possible. So the point is, that’s why
I always go to cost-benefit. Cost-benefit: is it worth it. There’s a big chunk of
time where it just isn’t.

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