“The ends justify the means.” This quote, attributed to Niccolo´ Machiavelli, is the logic used by some leaders when addressing tough people issues like taking corrective action or discharging someone. If the objective of correcting or exiting an employee while protecting the legal and financial interests of the company is met, then the leader believes their actions are justified no matter how callous or hurtful they may be.
I could not disagree more. The means by which we achieve an objective stand on their own merits. Bad actions in pursuit of a legitimate cause are still bad actions. To that end, people judge the character of a leader based more on the way they handle difficult people issues than easy ones.
Exercise the same care in preserving the reputation and dignity of people when dealing with difficult situations that you would, when say, onboarding a new employee. Do what must be done, but do it the right way.
Be intentional about it…