I know there is one thing that is true for you. You spend tons of time at work. I’m going to bet that you would like to love all of the people you work with. There is only one way that can happen. You have to have a system to make sure the brilliant jerks stay away from your business.


I know there is one thing that is true for you. You spend tons of time at work and I’m gonna bet that you would like to love all the people you work with, and there is only one way that can happen. You have to have a system to make sure that brilliant jerks stay away from your business. So first let’s talk about what a brilliant jerk is.

A brilliant jerk is somebody who has technical brilliance. They are so good at what they do. We often see this in the world of sales where your star salesperson is really really good at bringing in customers, but along the way, inside your organization, they lead a line of just terrible things have happened behind them. They don’t care about other people. They only care about what they want. They’re often very narcissistic in how they go about doing things. That’s not the type of person you want to have in your company. And the problem is when we hire for technical skills, the chance of having a brilliant jerk slipping through the cracks is really easy. And when that happens you likely find yourself spending a ton of time managing the fallout from the brilliant jerk and the demands the brilliant jerk makes in your company. They’ll make your administrative people crazy if they’re a salesperson. They’re going to take all the credit for everything that happens, even if there were other people that help them get there. They just don’t know how to share credit, and it’s all about them and nothing about the group.

You know, even if your brilliant jerk is the best at the world at doing something, you can’t have them in your company. And here’s some problems that brilliant jerks cause.

  1. Number one, they upset everyone they work with around. They’re just so difficult to be around. People just tense up when they walk into the room and they even tense up when they think about the brilliant jerk walking in the room.
  2. The brilliant jerks often are really demanding and they want everything done their way, even if it goes against the values of your company, even if it goes over against the systems that you know work in your company, they don’t care. They just want it done their way.
  3. They have no use for the values your company has, unless by accident, their values happen to coincide with your values, and if you have values of teamwork, you have values of rights and respect or you have values that we work together. They’re not going to fit in because that stuff doesn’t mean anything to them. It’s all about them.
  4. Number four, and this is something that’s really a problem often with brilliant jerks. When things go wrong, and things always go wrong, they blame others. They never take responsibility when they cause a problem or they even had anything to do with the problem. It’s always somebody else’s fault or there’s always a justification why it didn’t work out the way they should.
  5. And finally, they believe company rules are for other people, not for them. This causes a lot of problems. You have rules and they want to be outside those set of rules and you let them because there’s so technically good. That causes you lots of problems with your people, the way they feel about the company, and they just don’t feel like they’re being fairly treated.

Now on the other hand, here’s what happens to your company when you keep the brilliant jerks out.

  1. Number one, your company runs smoothly. You don’t have a brilliant jerk that’s upsetting the apple cart all the time.
  2. You spend almost no time managing personal conflicts in your company. When you have a brilliant jerk, you’re going to find you spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get that brilliant jerk to act in a way that’s reasonable.
  3. Number three, you no longer have to provide special rules for anyone in your company. You can use the same set of rules and we can all agree those are rules that are useful.
  4. Number four, your staff likes each other better. One thing that brilliant jerks are really good at is separating people and putting people on their team or the other team and they like to cause a lot of conflict. You’re gonna find your staff likes each other better and much of that conflict will go away.
  5. Then finally, you are able to focus on what’s important for you, not fighting fires all the time. Now I have had several brilliant jerks working for me over the years. In fact, I was a jerk when I first started. I’m not so sure how brilliant I was, but after I have fired a brilliant jerk or fixed their behavior which almost never happens, I’d have a line outside my door saying, “What took you so long to deal with this?” Everybody in your company knows there’s brilliant jerks around and they really don’t like it. They’re not going to tell you that because they know how technically good they are, but they don’t like it.

You know, we know how difficult it is for management when a brilliant jerk slips into your company. We have a simple method we’ve used for years and is easy to implement. Here’s what I want you to do.

  1. Number one, learn how to use the Stage 2 Hiring Process. And when you use the process, focus on the values as way more important than the technical skills.
  2. Number two, fill out the Stage 2 Hiring Form before you start your job search so you know what you’re looking for, and we’ll have less of a chance that a brilliant jerk’s slipping through.
  3. Number three, use the Stage 2 System in your next hire and get the perfect person for your company about 85% of the time. Nobody gets it right 100% of the time, But if you don’t have a system, you’re going to be in the 20’s to 30’s of how successful you hire, but if you have a system you’re going to go up to 80 or 85%.

So I would love to have a conversation with you about our hybrid system. So feel free contacting me at jpatrick@stage2planning.com to set up a time for us to talk.

In the meantime, if you’re not ready to talk, DOWNLOAD our Free eBook on Hiring For Unique Abilities. If you use this format to figure out who all the people you should work with are, you’ll find you get the right person way more often than not.

And while you’re at it, scroll down, let me know what you think about keeping brilliant jerks out of your company. Hey, this is Josh Patrick. You’re at the sustainable business. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.

Topics: Video, people management, Sustainable Business, hiring for unique abilities, hiring people, brilliant jerk, trouble makers

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