It’s Time to Fire Your Brilliant Jerks

Written by Vicki Lauter on . Posted in Developing Employees, Stages of Growth

I am constantly amazed at companies that ignore the atrocious behavior caused by some employees. I hear leaders say things such as, “this person has an in demand skill-set. If we lose them it will take forever to hire someone to fill their job.”

Employees – you know who I am talking about. You may even be one of those brilliant jerk employees or have one in your company.

Leaders – you know you have let your brilliant jerks get away with bad behavior for far too long.

What are you going to do when the employees that are fed up with the brilliant jerk behavior at your company walk out the door because you won’t do anything? Your employees watch as you ignore the bad behavior in meetings. Some of your employees even feel terrorized by this person and they won’t tolerate the bad behavior forever. After all – you are not the only employer in town.

I previously shared how vampires can suck the life out of your company. Brilliant jerks are similar to vampires, except they suck the life out of your company in subtle ways such as doing a great job and getting away with all kinds of shenanigans…because you let them.

I know you are wondering if your brilliant jerk can be saved. It depends. You have to first find out why they are behaving the way they are. What motivates them to have such bad behavior? Only then can you really begin to understand your brilliant jerk. Otherwise you won’t be able to save your brilliant jerk or your company.

Several years ago the CEO of Netflix took it upon himself to document ‘Do not tolerate brilliant jerks’ in their culture slide deck. (Slide #35) Regardless of what you think about the company or the man, at least he took a stand and hasn’t been afraid to enforce the culture of cutting jerks.

So what’s stopping you?

Are you ready to draw your line in the sand, take your culture back and either fire, replace or try to salvage your brilliant jerk employees?

Not sure where to start? You can start by downloading our whitepaper. I developed this whitepaper after several clients called seeking advice about how to deal with Brilliant Jerks in their company.

Don’t want to embark on this alone? Contact us, we can help.

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