Put That Gorilla Down

The Cincinnati Zoo shot and killed a 450 lb silverback gorilla that had a 3-year old human child in his grasp. The zoo is getting heat suggesting it did the wrong thing. The world is in an outrage about shooting the majestic gorilla.

It got me to thinking, why is this so hard for people to handle? Why do people go into such shock when things like this happen?

I realized it’s because no one practices making hard choices in life.

We have become a reasonable, soft and too forgiving society. You put my children at risk, and I am going to put you down. Put my company at risk, and I will put you down.

Employees who show up late, make mistakes, don’t hit quota, won’t take the time to train and improve themselves and then continue to lower the bar of expectation amongst the rest of your staff needs to be put down (fired).

Customers that are no longer good for my business, pay too little, pay late, wants too much and gives nothing back – needs to be put down (fired).

We recently had a person that quit one of my companies. I asked his senior, “Why did John quit – why didn’t we fire him?”

The manager said, “What’s it matter?” I told him, “It matters because almost no one leaves the day they quit. This guy quit a long time ago and should have been fired a long time ago.”

Ask yourself, “When is the last time you fired an employee?”

When is the last time you fired a customer? When is the last time you told a friend or family member to get their head on right or they aren’t welcomed in your life anymore? If you have not done this recently then you are most likely being too reasonable with people who are putting your business, brand, family and finances at risk.

I don’t mind getting rid of people in my life and business. I think turnover at my company is a sign management is willing to make decisions. When I fire a customer who is not good for my business it makes room for us to find and take on good customers.

Eliminating people from your personal life who are no longer supportive is a sign you are continuing to grow.

If you don’t eliminate people who are no longer good for you then you are as dangerous as the Gorilla. I refuse to be reasonable with anyone or anything who puts my business, my finances, my reputation or my family at risk.

I think the zoo did the right thing putting the gorilla down. And I don’t think the gorilla was going to hurt the child. But the risk was too great.

Life is full of tough choices and most people are simply unwilling to make the tough decisions. Companies need board meetings and management ‘buy-in’ to make even simple choices. And then over time, to no surprise, the company can no longer move with the speed and urgency to do what is necessary to survive in the real world. Oh, by the way, those who are unwilling to make the hard choices quickly become more dangerous than a 450 lb gorilla with a three-year-old in their grasp.

If you aren’t willing to fire employees, customers, even friends and family, your life and business are going to be like a zoo where the animals are in control.

  • Be willing to fire the customer.
  • Be willing to fire the employee.
  • Be willing to fire friends and family who aren’t supportive.
  • Be willing to take control of your financial freedom.

Make the tough decisions,


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