Inspiring Brilliant Jerks to be Brilliant Leaders
PETER is a rising star at Zeon. He has produced exceptional RESULTS He has turned around his department from bankruptcy to making substantial profits And yet his ABRASIVE behavior has caused 3 times more turnover than the rest of the company.
GEORGE is a brilliant CHILD CARDIOLOGIST, one of the best in the country. You strived to have this person work for you and yet the cardiologist’s deplorable bedside manner is ruining the hospital’s reputation.
- Peter and George are both BRILLIANT JERKS.
- They have high IQ but low EQ. They are inter-personally blind.
But they need to be approached about disgraceful behavior if they are ever to change.
So what can you do with a brilliant jerk?
- Understand what the BJ is trying to accomplish. What recognition do they want? What’s important to them? What is their perception of the situation?
- LISTEN…. NEUTRALLY…DON’T MORALIZE (e.g., don’t accuse if you haven’t personally witnessed the bad behavior). Don’t get into an endless debate about facts.
- State the possible disconnect between what they are trying to accomplish and how they are coming across.
- Then research. Interview stakeholders and come back with irrefutable data how they are perceived.
- Finally co-create an action plan based on the report to specifically address the problematic behavior.
CALL TO ACTION
This is where executive coaching can be very helpful. The coach, as an objective, outside party, can more readily motivate the BJ to modify their behavior LONG TERM and sustain the pressure until the good behavior is a new habit.
If you are dealing brilliant Jerk on your leadership team that is too brilliant to loose but too exhausting to manage, lets strategize on your next best move to transform the brilliant jerk into a brilliant leader.