Fire Someone Today: And Other Surprising Tactics for Making Your Business a Success

by Bob Pritchett

When I heard that Bob Pritchett, cofounder and CEO of Logos Research Systems, was writing a book on business, I was interested. I have been using Logos Bible Software for the last 8 or so years, I have participated in the beta program and I read the newsgroups regularly. I have often been impressed by the software and the business producing it.
When I heard the title of Bob’s book, _Fire Someone Today_, I was fascinated. A Christian businessman running a Bible software company was writing a book about giving employees the heave-ho? When Bob offered the opportunity to get a $20 Logos gift certificate to anyone ordering the book from Amazon.com, I couldn’t resist. It was like money in my pocket. The book (with shipping to Canada) only cost me $16.22.
I just finished reading the book. While there were several helpful and interesting “business tips”, I didn’t find too many surprises. Bob does write well and kept my attention throughout the 200+ pages.
I’m already a firm believer in “Visit Everyone in Person” and “Read”, but it was good to have these beliefs reaffirmed. I was challenged and encouraged by “You Can Always Find 5%”, particularly because that’s about what we need to raise in additional support to return to Trinidad. “Winning Takes 51%” is revolutionary for me. In my life “perfect is the enemy of progress.” I need to get more decision momentum going.
I did find a few things that surprised me (but the chapter “Fire Someone Today” was not one of them!). It began as discomfort and grew through several disconnected chapters to the point that I *was* surpised at what I was reading. (I should disclaim that I am not a businessman, nor the son of a businessman.)
In “Cash is King” I found many things I agreed with but was a little uncomfortable with the advice given for “when cash is tight.” Although Bob is careful to say “be honest with them” and “apologize and ask for longer terms”, something just doesn’t sit well with the advice “don’t pay your rent.”
“Profit is the first mission of every business,” Bob writes in the chapter “Profit Is Why You Are in Business”. That increased my discomfort level. Perhaps it shows why I’m not a businessman. (I’m just too idealistic.) However, I think Jim Collins of _Good to Great_ and _Built to Last_ fame would agree. Jim in talking about the “Genius of the AND” writes:
bq. Visionary companies pursue a cluster of objectives, of which making money is only one—and not necessarily the primary one. Yes, they seek profits, but they’re equally guided by a core ideology—core values and a sense of purpose beyond just making money.
Until I reached “The One Who Writes Wins” I was just uncomfortable. Then I read on one page, “Do Not Send an Editable Contract” and on the next “ask for the word processing files.” A couple chapters later, I hit another one. In “Visit Everyone in Person”, Bob advises, “Use any opportunity to talk with a competitor as an opportunity to visit. … And what if your competitor calls you and wants to stop by your office? Agree to meet–but *only* at the local coffee shop.” Those two pieces of advice did surprise me. Perhaps I’m naive, but I didn’t expect that from a Christian businessman.
(Interestingly, the book includes many insider looks at Logos. Not only will that help customers like me to understand the company better (which I appreciate) but undoubtedly Bob’s competitors will also glean much about his business from the pages.)
In spite of this mild surprise, I will likely recommend the book to others for it does contain insightful lessons learned in the crucible. Its just what small-business owners and entrepreneurs need to read.
The website for the book is at www.firesomeonetoday.com/.

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