CM 144: Are Employees Holding You Hostage? - CounterMentors

CM144: “Are Employees Holding You Hostage?”

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If you’ve been working more than a couple of months, you’re probably aware of a problem employee. The prima donna. The bull-in-a-china-shop. The bad attitude. The ‘my-way-or-the-highway’ bulldozer.

It seems like we’ve come to accept drama as a condition of existing in the workplace. But, while problem employees create enough problems of their own, sometimes those employee turn out to be great performers. Now what?? Should they stay or should they go? Is the performance worth all the problems that come with it?

One thing is for sure–it is amazing how often leaders give that employee a pass. It’s a recipe for disaster–and a real crisis for leadership.

Join Kelly and Robby as they discuss a high-profile example of a talented performer getting away with bad behavior in the world of sports. As always, the difference between a winning culture and team dysfunction usually comes down to the actions of the leader.

Show Notes:

  • How ego can lead top performers to cause trouble (6:15)
  • Why making exceptions to your principles are a red flag (8:45)
  • Who is to blame for problem behavior—the employee or the leader? (10:30)
  • Why leaders also have to set their egos aside (15:15)
  • Do talented employees always come with baggage? (16:30)
  • Why the expectations have to be the same for everyone (20:30)
  • Should you treat talented employees differently? (22:30)
  • Why your culture has to be in place already if you want to rebuke bad behavior (29:15)
  • How to handle the bad behavior if you’ve been letting it slide (30:30)


  1. How it has gone wrong with Antonio Brown and the Steelers” (ESPN, Jeremy Fowler)
  2. High Stakes Leadership and Critical Decisions” (BizLockerRoom)

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