Not long ago, I had a subscriber reach out to me with a challenging question. This person’s business had made many changes due to COVID-19 and the economy. They wondered when they should begin cutting people from their team. To explain my views on the matter, I like to turn to a story from the Bible.
A man named Gideon was selected by God to lead the Israelites and free the people of Israel from those who were worshipping idols. Gideon gathered 32,000 men from four tribes in an effort to defeat the Midianites. After Gideon had gathered the troops, God came to him and informed him that he had gathered too many soldiers.
When Gideon asked what he should do, God said he should give a rousing speech to the 32,000 troops, but he should end the speech by saying, “Now that we’re off to fight … if there’s anybody here who’s afraid and you think we’re about to lose this upcoming battle with the Midianites, you can be excused at this time. Go home, we can’t use you this time.” When Gideon gave this speech, 22,000 members of his army decided to call it quits.
This is an important story to consider when trying to decide if you need to make cuts to your team. When you are recruiting, it’s hard to get an idea of how someone will actually turn out. You’re bound to make some wrong hires who don’t appreciate what you are trying to do. If someone does not believe in the cause, they do not deserve a spot on your team. God came to Gideon after he relieved the 22,000 soldiers from service and told him he still had too many soldiers. Gideon was instructed to march his troops until they were hot, thirsty and tired before bringing them to the river. Gideon did just that, and when they arrived at the river, 9,700 of his troops dropped their shields and spears before jumping into the water. Gideon then excused those troops and was left with 300.
Gideon took his 300 troops and led them to attack the Midianite camp when night fell. By using a strong strategy and the might of his small – but dedicated – team, Gideon sent the Midianite army fleeing in terror. I am a big believer in creating a small but dynamic team. By recruiting the right people, you have a better chance of success. The more difficult part of leadership is letting go of those people who are too afraid or negative and replacing them with suitable candidates. It might not be easy, but it is necessary.