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A Short Real-Life Story About Jane

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This article involves an interesting dilemma, illustrated by a short real-life story about Jane - a manager and Andy - a top performer and a jerk. I agree with all constructive advices that four commentators offer in Jane's situation.

Andys exist everywhere. Jane is facing a typical situation: a top-performing salesperson that is nasty and bullying to everyone around. She cannot get rid of him, but she cannot let him destroy the team either.

I agree with Chuck McKenzie that the manager needs to carve out a role that lets him focus on what he is good at. She should give him the permission to work alone as much as possible. Chuck McKenzie also states that if Jane and her group can learn how to face with true diversity, they will be a stronger and more creative group.

This Andy was certainly not going to change his attitude after a short talk with Jane. Jane must make him understand that productivity is not good enough and that his job depends on his professional relationship with co-workers. Andy is required to realize team result is as important as individual result, and rudeness does not help improve performance in this company. Psychologist and consultant James Waldroop even proposes strict methods that stroke this extremely narcissistic man's ego and at the same time hammer him hard with critique; offer him two options (staying or leaving). Before executing those methods, Jane must have backup plans if Andy chooses to leave.

Jane's main problem is not the jerk called Andy, but herself. She is far too passive and could not take control of the whole situation. Jane has to define each person's responsibilities and help team members understand her expectation for each member. She should stop sending email to Rick Lazarus because Rick - an old colleague - cannot give her good advices and may reinforce her managerial blind spots.

I strongly agree that Jane needs to conduct some training courses for the team, such as Conflict Management, Assertiveness Development and Effective Meeting. The team will then perhaps know how to deal with Andy's negative attitude and behavior.

"What a Star - What a Jerk" is a worth reading article that reveals an interesting issue that challenges most managers nowadays. Jane, the manager in this story, needs to enhance her leadership skills and management skills. After the final warning, if Andy does not improve himself, Jane has to fire him and find a substitution, like what James Waldroop mentioned in his advice "I don't care how much money somebody could make us, or how smart they are; it's not worth it if they disrupt the entire group"



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