I was reading an interesting article on Terrell Owens and the timeline of his antics (or in my own words .... self-destruction.) over the last few years. It brought to mind a question that was asked by one of our members in BrightFuse.com. The question asked was whether or not a company could have too many superstars. I replied that I didn't believe there could ever be too many superstars .... just too many prima donnas. I felt that this article served as a good example of what I meant by my answer.
First, for all of the fans of Terrell Owens ... also known as "T.O." ... (and those that aren't family or on the payroll), my intention is not to bash T.O. I respect his ability as an athlete. And, according to the Sporting News NFL , he may very well be playing on a team this year, after all. I wish him, and which ever team signs him, much success. It's just that it's no secret that while he can be a super athlete, he is no superstar in the locker room. This fact has caused irreversible damage to a few teams. The same thing can, and does happen in the any work place.
What a "dream team" situation to have several superstars working on a project. What a disaster to have even one prima donna on the team.
This is the team member who blatantly boasts his/her importance on the team. This is the team member that blames everyone else when the project takes a wrong turn and takes the credit for all the right turns.
This is the person who points a finger, and brings unnecessary attention to the mistakes of other team members.
This is the team member who openly mocks his/her other team members.
This is the team member who makes rude remarks about others, and who starts rumors about his/her team members.
This is the team member who causes rifts between the other members.
This is the team member who thrives on, and demands attention above his/her other teammates.
This is the prima donna. Most all teams seem to have one.
And this is the person on the team that is absolutely brilliant at what he or she does. Therein lies the dilemma. Do you keep or take a chance with some one who is a well-known prima donna, at the risk of dividing your team and creating dissension, or do you move on without this person, in the hopes of finding someone who is not only a superstar at what he/she does, but a superstar who is a team player?
I don't think there is any easy answer, but the next time you see a team project falling apart before you very eyes, you might want to look around to see if there is a "T.O." in the house.
(c) 2010 Debbie Barth