I don’t know the why of it… I can speculate that he was having troubles making payments on his credit cards and to investments groups that he belongs to (he has a habit of discussing his financial issues in the open office for all to hear).
In the summer he first started to talk about changes, and made me start to wonder what was going on. He mentioned selling staff and consultants shares of Company stock to get them more invested in how the company was doing. I was skeptical, and made it clear that the employees seemed pretty dedicated to their jobs already.
In July or August he decided that we should honor Jim for one of his drawings and show the company’s appreciation, during our Fall trip to Cancun, for all the hard work he had done over the years… now this might not come as a shock to anyone reading, good companies do that… but at this company I was told over and over and over again that they don’t do that… they recognize employees all year long in salary and bonuses. (my hinting at Administrative Professionals day got me a talking to). So, I started to create a plan to do a slide show with photos of those who know and have worked with Jim over the years… John stepped in and said: Jim isn’t dying and he isn’t going anywhere. He didn’t want it to seem funeral like (Jim’s mother in law had passed away and her grand daughter made a slide show – it was a good slide show). So the idea was scraped.
It wasn’t even a month after that that John approached me about changing the structure of the firm and hinted at getting rid of Jim. I approached him about checks and balances and asked if Jim weren’t there to stop him or advise him, what was to keep him from doing crazy things. He said “you Jamez”.
The only things that I know happened between then was he and his siblings are trying to buy property in MN, (I edited the document for him) and if he was struggling to pay his credit card bills and his investment group, how was he going to afford this?
Perhaps that’s the motivation, I don’t know.
When I said in early fall that getting rid of Jim was a mistake and he needed to rethink it, he agreed. Then it came back in October, and I again said it was a bad idea. In December, when he was about to fire Jim, the night before I said: Don’t fire him, give it some time… He said he couldn’t wait any longer. These are fine examples of him listening to someone.