Hire, Fire, Decide, Defer
Gary Weedman
Gary Weedman

By Gary Weedman

(From our series “The Best or Worst Advice I’ve Ever Received.”)

I have received three pieces of advice that have been of equal value to me in the latter part of my professional career. 

When I went to Milligan College, Dave Rose, a retired insurance executive and alumnus of Milligan, said to me in his cantankerous way, “Weedman, if you’re going to be a successful administrator, you need to learn what I had to learn—‘hire slowly and fire fast.’” Take your time, attend to due diligence with the first; when you’ve made a mistake, don’t let it linger, hurting the institution and the individual. 

Don Jeanes, president of Milligan, had similar advice—“Don’t cut your finger off one inch at a time.” Get the unpleasantness out of the way and move on to the positive. 

After I became president of Johnson University, I asked veteran President Jim Taylor of the University of the Cumberlands what was the best, one-sentence advice he could give a novice president. He said, “Learn to say to your critics, ‘You may be right! And then let silence reign.’” 

Some of the time I have followed all three of these wise men.

Gary Weedman serves as president of  Johnson University.

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