Why Can’t We All Just Be Happy?
The Wall Street Journal actually ran a piece recently on how to judge and improve employee happiness.
Some time ago I was asked by a consultant whom I was coaching how to handle a dilemma. He was hired by a law firm to work with the top revenue generator, an ace courtroom attorney who didn’t get along with any of her 14 co-workers very well. She was tough, assertive, and really uncaring about their feelings. They were all moderately productive, but they felt she should treat them better, so the managing partner called in my client, who told me that he believed she was not going to change no matter what, and would simply go to another firm before she would change. She was bringing in $20 million of billable time and contingency fees a year, more than the managing partner, and the rest of the staff combined was doing about $9 million.
“Her behaviors and success in the courtroom,” I told him, “were consistent with her behaviors in the office. She’s tough and takes no prisoners.”
“What do I advice,” he asked, “in terms of some accommodation moving forward?”
“Fire the other 14,” I said.