Jamie Dimon’s hot management take? Don’t be afraid to fire people—even though he was once fired by his mentor of 15 years

There’s no crying in baseball—and no crying in the boardroom either, according to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

In his 18 years at the helm of the world’s biggest bank, the Wall Street titan has cemented his reputation as an outspoken thought leader on finance and CEOship—and occasionally, the “pet rock” that is Bitcoin.

When it comes to management, Dimon believes leaders should be willing to dismiss employees who aren’t a good fit—and even he was once on the receiving end of the firing gun.

At a 2017 event at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a Ph.D. student asked Dimon how he addresses bureaucratization within his bank. Dimon, who turned 68 today, shared what he thought was one of the toughest aspects of management: “You have to get rid of the bad people.”

Sometimes “bad” means a poor culture fit, and other times, it’s as simple as “they’re not good enough” at their job, Dimon said. Many managers are unwilling to get rid of the “bad people,” Dimon continued, and instead opt to reward their loyalty.

In order to achieve a true meritocracy staffed by top performers, Dimon says managers should think more like sports coaches. “In sports, if you’re not batting 250, you’re not going to be playing second base,” the bank chief said. “And it’s very easy, you take out a pitcher that’s not doing a good job.”

“In business, they are left in those jobs for a long time,” said Dimon, whose net worth is $2.1 billion according to Forbes.

Loyalty ≠ competence

“Loyalty is such a misnamed thing sometimes,” Dimon continued at the Stanford event.

As a young CEO, Dimon was asked why he demoted “Joe,” an employee who had been with the company for a long time and trained many other workers.

“How can we be loyal to you when you weren’t loyal to Joe?” an employee asked Dimon. “I couldn’t answer the question,” Dimon said at the Stanford event, so he slept on it and then called the employee the following day.

“If I was loyal to Joe and kept him in the job, and most people thought he just wasn’t doing a good job anymore, who am I being disloyal to?” Dimon recalls saying. “Everybody else and the customer.”

Lived experience

The billionaire was once on the receiving end of a high-profile firing himself—at the hands of a former mentor. While Dimon was an undergraduate at Tufts University, banker and family friend Sandy Weill hired him to spend the summer working at the investment bank Shearson—where Dimon’s father and grandfather both worked as stockbrokers.

After his graduation from Harvard Business School, Dimon followed Weill to American Express—turning down offers from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Lehman Brothers to do so. A few years later, Dimon followed Weill to Commercial Credit. By 1998, a 33-year-old Dimon was president and chief operating officer of Travelers, an insurance company.

“Then we merged with [Citigroup],” he said on the Coffee with the Greats podcast in 2020. Dimon was named Citi’s president following the merger—but a few months later, Weill, who had mentored him for 15 years at this point, asked him to resign during an executive weekend retreat.

“The problem was in 1999 he wanted to be CEO and I didn’t want to retire,” Weill told the New York Times in 2010. “I regret that it came to that. I don’t know what else could have been done except for him to be more patient.”

Though he was surprised by the firing, Dimon said he was “fine.” “It was my net worth, not my self-worth, that was involved,” he said on the podcast.

While out of a job, Dimon took up boxing and read biographies of leaders who had “truly suffered,” the Harvard Business Review reported in 2007. He interviewed for jobs at Amazon and Home Depot, according to CNBC, and became CEO of Chicago-based Bank One in 2000.

JPMorgan Chase acquired Bank One in 2004, and Dimon was named CEO of the bank in 2005—proving patience does pay off, eventually.

Fire away

Dimon has practiced what he preaches. In 2009, he abruptly ousted Bill Winters, the former co-head of investment banking at JPMorgan. Winters was considered a potential successor to the CEO role—he was even dubbed a member of Dimon’s “SWAT team” in a 2008 Fortune article about the bank’s response to the financial crisis.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Winters became the Dimon to Dimon’s…well, Weill, because he never believed in the universal banking model of combining an investment bank with a traditional lender.

Today, Winters is doing quite well for himself—he was named CEO of British bank Standard Chartered in 2015. In February, the bank reported statutory pretax profit of $5.09 billion and rewarded shareholders with a $1 billion share buyback.

And though Dimon has long joked “five more years” when asked if he plans to step down, it appears JPMorgan is laying the groundwork for what comes after. The bank announced a reshuffle of top executives in January, in order to “position the firm for the future” and “further develop the company’s most senior leaders.”

The front-runners to replace Dimon are widely reported to be Jennifer Piepszak, co-CEO of JPMorgan’s commercial and investment bank; and Marianne Lake, CEO of consumer and community banking. But it remains to be seen whether they’ll have the same baseball coach mentality as Dimon.

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com