08/28/2012 11:12 am ET Updated Oct 28, 2012

Why I Stopped Firing Everyone And Started Being A Better Boss

Even as her company advised federal agencies and businesses on how to train and nurture employees, Indigo Johnson, a former Marine, ran her team like a drill instructor. She fired employees so regularly that few of them ever lasted longer than a year. Until finally she realized--she was the problem. As told to April Joyner.

Coming from the Marine Corps, I always felt that you had to be hard charging and no nonsense to get results. But many of my employees withered under the pressure. I didn't give them a chance to grow. I fired them.

I had been running a human resources company for more than a decade, and I'd written a book about career management. I would help my clients' employees identify why they weren't getting promotions and develop more skills. But I wasn't doing those things for my own staff.

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