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October 23, 2013

Starting Thought: Almost Losing His Job Forced Redfin CEO To Change

redfin, Almost getting fired taught Redfin CEO to changeThe CEO of real estate brokerage Redfin was interviewed last week in a fascinating article in USA Today, “Almost getting fired taught CEO of Redfin to learn to change.”

Glenn Kelman recalled when he was summoned to the CEO’s office at a company he founded to be fired.  He said after being told he was out, “I cried.  I begged for mercy.  I promised to change and that saved my skin.”

Kelman knew about the leadership issues he had, and like many leaders, didn’t think the issues were that serious.

It’s an important lesson for leaders who aren’t open to the feedback they get and who resist change.

His takeaway – treat yourself like a work in progress, think about how you can improve and listen to feedback.

It might be easy to say after getting a “do-over,” as my almost 4-year-old daughter would call it.  The beauty of a “do-over” is that you have the choice as to whether you will apply the learnings right away. 

Kelman did.  In today’s era of “hire slow and fire fast,” responding to feedback could mean the difference between keeping one’s job and needing to look for the next opportunity.

What feedback are you getting today, and how open are you to the changes you need to make?

- David Grossman

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Want more on what leading CEOs are doing and saying in the workplace? Check out our CEO communication cirtique column, Hit or Miss'ive today. 

hit or miss'ive, hit or missive, ceo communication, ceo communication critique

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