When the One Who is Saving Your Life is Sinking Your Ship

You need a new sales person to help you grow your struggling business in a devastating economy. If you don’t win some new business soon, things will get ugly.

You place an ad on monster.com, spread the word on LinkedIn and start telling everyone at your company that the person who refers the perfect candidate to you who you hire will receive a $1,000 bonus upon her or his first sale.

bad boss at work working against you leadershipAfter interviewing ten or fifteen candidates (plus a few who expect a six-figure base, stellar bennies and a $1,000/month expense account), you settle on the one person you are convinced can do the job. He’s hungry. He’s aggressive. He’s goal-driven and if there is a dollar to be had at a company, he’ll find it. You strike a deal and firmly shake hands. Life is good.

Day 1:  Your new sales person, Jim, reports for duty at 8:00 promptly. Jim is wearing what you suspect to be a custom pinstripe, cufflinks, a Rolex, bracelet and a shiny pair of Ferragamo’s. As he smiles and meets your staff, he proudly displays the results of his many years of overdosing on Crest teeth-whitening kits. You discuss company operations, show him where the key is to the restroom and hand him his 85 lb. crate of business cards. It’s a new day.

Day 2: Jim arrives to the office promptly at 8:00 and starts dialing for dollars. He sets four appointments. You celebrate. It’s a good day.

Day 3: Jim waltzes in at 8:33 with a lame excuse for his tardiness. He thinks it’s no big deal because he views himself as the company hero. After all, setting four appointments on the second day of a job is unheard of. His tardiness bothers you, but you let it slide.

Day 12: Jim calls to let you know he won’t be in until 11’ish because he has a 9:30. At 11:10, Jim struts into your office to tell you he won the $150,000 piece of business you’ve been chasing for eight months. It’s a great day.

Over the next few weeks, you notice that Jim isn’t warming up to anyone. In fact, you sense a lot of friction between him and most other people in your company. The mood grows tense. Something is seriously wrong.

Day 36: At 10:03 a.m., a loud argument erupts between Jim and the Executive Assistant. At 10:12, Your Executive Assistant and HR Manager enter your office and close the door. You learn that Jim, who, by the way, has brought in three additional pieces of desperately needed business, is a pompous, arrogant and disrespectful jerk who is condescending to everyone in your company, that is, except for you.

You know you need to talk to Jim, but you’re not sure how. You have a very delicate situation on your hands where your people are complaining about the guy who saved your ship from capsizing. What’s your strategy?

Whenever you introduce someone with a strong personality into a group, they quickly dominate those who are less assertive, and quarrel with those who are more assertive. It’s a situation where managers find themselves thrown in the middle of the storm and are expected to make everyone play well again.

Leadership training, such as L.E.T., teaches participants how to expediently resolve conflict between different types of personalities. Active listening is particularly important where managers learn how to identify core issues quickly and facilitate a problem solving process between team members to ensure everyone wins and gets their needs met, including their own!

Yes, it is possible.

Learn more about L.E.T.