Toxic Must Go

A study showed that replacing a toxic worker with an average one can be twice as profitable as upgrading an average one to a star.
{Adam Grant}


If you are willing to sacrifice your culture because of the discomfort of replacing someone who performs at a high level but whose attitude and actions make things worse for everyone else, you are paying too high a price.

No one is indispensable. And the damage to your organization of tolerating people who choose to operate outside the margins of your value system can take years to repair.

I’ve watched many teams suffer the consequences of a cultural outlier as leaders hemmed and hawed, taking action far too slowly and losing credibility in bunches.

The “superstar” mystique is precisely that. The sooner you remove the toxicity from the system, the sooner your “average” workers will have the space – and the oxygen – to breathe life into their own performance and into your results.


DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world.