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Performance over attitude?

2 min read


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 150,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: Whom would you rather lead as a member of your team?

  • High performer with an attitude problem: 44%
  • Low performer with a great attitude: 33%
  • Mediocre performer with an average attitude: 23%

It seems many of you are satisfied to deal with attitude problems as long as the work gets done. It’s easy to rationalize, “He has a bad attitude, but he does such great work that I can’t do without him.” I encourage you to think more broadly of the impact a bad attitude has on your team. Your team members who might not be high performers see the high performers get away with having an attitude problem. It damages morale, and that attitude might even rub off on average or low performers. Address the attitude issue head-on. Explain to high performers that their attitude is hurting the team and its performance. If they’re true high performers, they’ll want to achieve in all areas, including having a positive attitude.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of ThoughtLeaders and author of “One Piece of Paper.”