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Carrying a bad apple in your business? | Issue #166

How to deal with ‘Toxic A-Players’ before they wreck your business

Picture the scene. It’s Christmas in an M&S warehouse. A bunch of graduates have just been hired to help with the seasonal rush. The Warehouse Manager calls all these enthusiastic young people together. And this is what he says.  ‘Right you lot. If you work too hard, you’re going to get sacked. I don’t want any of you showing up the rest of my staff who work here all year round.’  I kid you not. 

One of these keen new graduates was me and the Manager’s words have stuck in my mind ever since. This guy worked for a branch that was turning over the best part of £100 million a year. He’d risen up through the organisation in spite of his negativity and bad attitude. And he was a classic example of a bad cultural fit. He was a ‘Toxic A-Player’.

Leadership, Growth Mindset And Learning From A Peer Organisation with Ian Windle

If you’re a leader and you don’t have a coach, then you’re missing a trick. 

Ian Windle is group chairman at Vistage, a global peer board organisation. He’s also a TEDx speaker, executive coach, team builder, author, podcast host. In this episode of The Melting Pot, Ian talks about his obsession with leadership, developing leaders, and having a growth mindset. 

He discusses building high performing teams, what being in a peer organisation like Vistage or YPO, or EO is like, and the value you get from being a part of it. He also shares what you can learn from being a member, and what you can take back into your own organisation, and how to solve problems, either in a peer organisation or with coaching. 

He also talks about building trust, why leaders need to show vulnerability, and how to create and cultivate a growth mindset. 

Finally, Ian has some questions that you as a leader should be asking of your executive team as we end 2021, about to enter 2022, as well as some great book recommendations. 

This is a fantastic chat, we’re sure you’ll enjoy it too.

The EntreLeadership Podcast

Hosted by George Kamel, the EntreLeadership Podcast features lively discussions and tips on leadership and business by some of the top minds in the business, like Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, Jim Collins and Simon Sinek.

Why you can’t solve knowledge problems with information tools alone

Knowledge and information are part of a continuum but not the same, and knowledge problems cannot be solved with information tools alone.

Use Networks to Drive Culture Change

Surveying employees about their values has its limits. You’ll gain more insight into organizational culture — and find targeted ways to change it — by also analyzing patterns of collaboration.

6 Reasons Why Annual Performance Reviews Don’t Work

No one, not even managers, look forward to annual performance reviews. In fact, only 5 percent of managers are satisfied with them. And this comes as no surprise—annual performance reviews are nerve-wracking and awkward for all parties involved.

The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank

The Four Steps to the Epiphany launched the Lean Startup approach to new ventures. It was the first book to offer that startups are not smaller versions of large companies and that new ventures are different than existing ones. Startups search for business models while existing companies execute them. The book offers the practical and proven four-step Customer Development process for search and offers insight into what makes some startups successful and leaves others selling off their furniture. Rather than blindly execute a plan, The Four Steps helps uncover flaws in product and business plans and correct them before they become costly. Rapid iteration, customer feedback, testing your assumptions are all explained in this book. Packed with concrete examples of what to do, how to do it and when to do it, the book will leave you with new skills to organize sales, marketing and your business for success. If your organization is starting a new venture, and you’re thinking how to successfully organize sales, marketing and business development you need The Four Steps to the Epiphany. Essential reading for anyone starting something new.

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Since it’s release in October 2015, Extreme Ownership has revolutionized leadership development and set a new standard for literature on the subject. Required listening for many of the most successful organizations, it has become an integral part of the official leadership training programs for scores of business teams, military units, and first responders. Detailing the mindset and principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult combat missions, Extreme Ownership demonstrates how to apply them to any team or organization, in any leadership environment. A compelling narrative with powerful instruction and direct application, Extreme Ownership challenges leaders everywhere to fulfill their ultimate purpose: lead and win.


If you don’t like someone at work, work out their strengths and be deliberately kind to them.

What do you do when you don’t trust someone at work? You avoid them. But that doesn’t make it any better. 

Our advice is that you try to work out their best strengths and be deliberately kind to them. Often, if you don’t like them, they won’t like you. Being intentionally disarming can be a very positive strategy to deescalate the tension and find some common ground. 

If you’ve both decided you don’t like each other, it’s unlikely that without an intervention, anything changes. Don’t wait for them to act. Be the grown-up and think about what act of kindness could you constantly bestow to them. Help them out, introduce them to people they should know or hand them a gift that you think they might like.

Quote of the week

“Acquiring the right talent is the most important key to growth. Hiring was – and still is – the most important thing we do.”

Marc Bennioff

Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic offers business coaching and management development, strategy planning and organisational change, using tried and tested methods to launch your organisation onto an unparalleled growth trajectory. His programme is a function of his broad experience, his deep expertise and a proven process used by over 2,700 firms worldwide.

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    Sign up today and get your copy of F**K PLAN B: How to scale your technology business faster and achieve Plan A, the book that will change your business and your life.

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