Telling people that they are not succeeding and must find another role or position is one of the hardest things for good leaders to do.
Unfortunately, the gap between skill and ambition can be wide for some people. Worse, it’s often without them even realizing it.
Ducking this conversation puts everyone at risk. Having this conversation, in the most honest and caring way possible, is a requirement of all leaders. No advice will ever make this conversation easier, but it must get done.
There’s a scene in Lawrence of Arabia where a soldier puts out a match with his fingers and doesn’t flinch or cry out. Another soldier watching attempts the same feat and yells in pain. “It damn well hurts! What’s the trick?” he asks. The first soldier replies, “The trick is not minding that it hurts.”