I had made a mistake, and I felt very bad about it. I had hired Mary because she was so eager to learn, so excited to be a part of the team, and it was intoxicating. Alas, Mary couldn’t write as well as her cover letter indicated, wasn’t great with the details, was too easily distracted by the most simple things. Her heart was in the right place, but I just didn’t think she was going to work out.

Even so, a good manager finds a way to make the team successful, and Mary really did want to stay. So I sat her down one-on-one to talk about how she needed to focus, that it was important to the team that she really focus right now on what was important, and I’d be happy to coach her to a higher level. Yes, Mary may fixate on how weak she was, but in time and with devotion, she would become a new woman, perfectly fitting in with the company culture.

Now look at Mary. A real team player, no longer distracted, but focused solely on her work. She’s put in more hours than any of her coworkers, but her positive attitude has raised spirits throughout the department. I’m so proud of her.