Golden Workers – Destructive or Brilliant?

We have all experienced them in our careers: the highly effective individual, but with an edgy personality. S/he typically delivers outstanding results, but often with fallout and/or negative vibes from colleagues.

These individuals are sometimes called “golden workers”. You can spot them because they:

* are highly intuitive, and often struggle to engage in rational debate,
* are highly valuable, because they do deliver results,
* are almost impossible to manage, because they do their own thing, and
* create chaos in teams/organizations, especially if they have leadership positions.

Many organizations struggle with “golden workers”. Often, they are “managed out”. In my view, that is a mistake. “Golden workers” are often the most creative and productive folks we have, and those that can set our teams/companies apart from the competition.

So how can we manage these tricky, but valuable, individuals?

First, identify them correctly. You may have difficult, intuitive, chaos-inducing people who don’t produce genius output. These folks are not “golden workers”.

Second, “golden workers” generally need to be isolated from the rest of your organization: give them big titles, small (or non-existent) teams, loose deliverables and, if possible, have them report to you directly.

In short, identify and isolate your “golden workers” – then they can be brilliant without being destructive.

Good luck!

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