Episode 62

Managing the Aberrant Genius - Trillion Dollar Coach Series - Chapter 2 Part 5

Published on: 7th December, 2022

How do we handle the people on our teams who are exceptional at what they do, but regularly exhibit behaviors that are outside of the bands of the team dynamics / company expectations? Bill Campbell calls this "Managing the Aberrant Genius".

Bill Campbell's advice is clear - tolerating the Aberrant Genius is OK as long as their behaviors are in the service (or intended to be in the service) of the good of the company, or the good of the team. When it can't be tolerated is when they continually put him or herself above the team.

We think feedback and coaching are critical skills for everyone on the team and, if not done consistently and effectively, will introduce more risk if you have Aberrant Geniuses on your team. We also discuss whether or not the time and energy required to manage these profiles is the most effective place for leaders to spend their time.

We also discuss how managing this dynamic as a leader wades into decision-making. Critical decisions should have a timeframe. What is the useful life of a decision? When making critical decisions, it's vital we re-visit and re-assess at some point in the future. Too many decisions are made by "default" (taking no action) or "permanently" never adjusted in light of new information/wisdom.

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