In describing an employee, a manager said to me, “Jessica’s job performance is excellent. I don’t remember anyone better.”
“You are about to add a ‘but,’” I interjected. “What’s the rest of the story?”
“She wants to do only the assignments that she likes. More than once she has said to me, ‘Give that to someone else. I’m not interested.’”
“Yes, she insists on doing things her way. She may leave meetings early or even skip them altogether.”
“How does she get along with others?”
“Not well. I’ve had one person quit and I think two others are looking.”
“I assume you have talked to her about this.”
“I have but our discussion usually ends in an argument. She was transferred to my team about seven months ago when we restructured the division.”
Unfortunately, people like Jessica see themselves as the smartest one in the room and their fuse is always fast-burning. They are not likely to change even with expert coaching.
Most teams can put up with a little disruption from high-performing grouches. But when neurotic behaviors seriously disrupt team performance, it is time for the leader to “cut bait” and replace the evil genius.