In this podcast, Katrina Burrus explains: Who is a Brilliant Jerk? What are their destructive behaviours? How does it impact people, teams and organisations? What can you do if you report to a Brilliant Jerk?
Who’s a Brilliant Jerks?
A Brilliant Jerk is motivated to having outstanding results and is interpersonally blind. Take the metaphor of driving a car, a Brilliant Jerks has a very clear 2020 vision along with blind spots of their interpersonal behaviour which are very destructive. They are people who are very brilliant, sharp and they bring valuable competence to the organization.
What is the cost of such managers?
- Individual level: People get less creative as they start reacting to the Brilliant Jerk’s mood instead of what’s best for the company as they are scared of their outburst. So, they become wary of what problems they can share with this manager based on the mood of the day. So as leaders brilliant jerks don’t know there is a problem before there is a crisis.
- Team level: Especially junior people don’t dare to share new ideas as they are afraid to be humiliated, so ideas don’t surface in a team. Katrina has seen managers who bang on the table and say “They are not bringing any ideas”. Brilliant Jerks don’t realise that being aggressive is not going to help others express themselves to share ideas or problems.
- Organizational Level: Often there is a higher turnover. Especially talented people who are not well utilised by such managers leave as they can be ostracized because the Brilliant Jerk see him/her as a competitor. So talented people who are unable to bring out their talent leave. Some others who are aggressed fall sick and there are absenteeism.