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How You Manage These 2 Kinds of Employees Will Define Your Company’s Culture

Source | LinkedIn | Robert Glazer | Entrepreneur, Best-Selling Author and Speaker | Founder & CEO @ Acceleration Partners

I learned one of the most valuable leadership lessons of my life when I was 23, when one of my first managers drew for me what he called the Nice versus Competent two-by-two matrix.

He shared that it’s obvious that businesses want as many nice/competent employees as possible, and to move on from any unpleasant, incompetent employees. What’s more challenging, he noted, are the people who exist in the other two quadrants–people who are talented but difficult, which he referred to as “brilliant jerks,” and people who are nice but don’t perform well, which he termed “friendly incompetents.”

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He noted that many organizations tolerate the brilliant jerk even though that person is very dangerous to company culture. However, he said people in the friendly incompetent quadrant are the ones who can present the biggest barrier to success.

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