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Best Practices



How does a company explicitly committed to relationships in business handle laying people off?

Victor Ho founded Fivestars with the mission of “transforming transactions into relationships.” Then the start-up hit a rough patch and needed to lay off 50 people.  Best practices suggested handling the lay-offs with surgical precision.  Victor felt compelled to take a different approach that was consistent with the company’s values: humbly admitting his mistakes, honoring the workers’ contributions, and mobilizing the entire firm to help those being displaced.

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Guided Reflection

Reflecting on the Story

  • What do you think about the way Victor handled the lay-off at 5Stars? What are some of the pros? Cons?
  • Do you think the way 5Stars handled the lay-off helped to heal brokenness and “make all things new”?

Connecting to your Work

  • How do you think companies ought to treat employees when crises and downturns happen?  Be specific.
  • Opening ourselves to the Other requires vulnerability and sacrifice. How can companies create a safe space for this to happen?

Personal Application

  • In your experience, what’s the biggest obstacle/barrier to truly serving our co-workers?
  • How well do your actions resonate with the values you espouse? What “shadow” do you cast as a leader in your company?

Kent Keith’s  “Changing the world through servant leadership” Download document, then read it.  (Note the idea about creating “servant institutions.”)

Father God, I confess I’m selfish. Too often I’m consumed with pursuing my own self-interest. Help me to not only see and hear the lives of my co-workers, but help me to actually serve them. Use me to help them realize their potential. I trust that you’ll take care of me. Pour out my life that they may flourish. Amen.