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January 12, 2012

Toxic Personalities at Work: Your Roadblock to Innovation

Here we are, almost half-way through the first month of the New Year.  Did you take some advice from Joyce, and set some resolutions at the office?  Physical change is difficult – quitting smoking or losing weight – but resolving to change something about your personality (and sticking to it) can be an even bigger challenge.

But, if you’re one of the 10 most unwanted personalities at work, you may want to renew your efforts to change in 2012.  That’s one of the takeaways from the leaders at Maddock Douglas, a consulting company that specializes in innovations and new product launches.  They assert that if you can’t change them, fire them.

  • Victims – “Victims are people who see problems as occasions for persecution rather than challenges to overcome. We all play the role of victim occasionally, but for some, it has turned into a way of life.”
  • The Nonbelievers – “In our experience, we’ve found the link between believing and succeeding incredibly powerful and real. Great leaders understand this.”
  • The Know-It-Alls – “The best innovators are learners, not knowers. The same can be said about innovative cultures; they are learning cultures.”

If you’re not convinced of how important it is to address these people, consider these quotes.

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

“Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction.” Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

Source: Bloomberg Business Week – Three Types of Personalities to Fire Immediately


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