How To Manage Misfits And Not Kill Your Company

Rebels, misfits, renegades, heretics or troublemakers whatever you call them, are commonly seen as difficult to work with. Why? Because their strengths (driven, talented, smart and impatient in achieving outcomes) can sometimes make them come across as assholes and go rogue.

I’m writing this from the perspective of someone who’s been labeled a troublemaker and who’s dealt with them. I think there’s a misunderstanding about trouble makers, and you have to separate the the ones who are misfits from the assholes. Misfits and assholes give a f**k. The difference is misfits care about the progress of the company, not themselves.

Assholes are divas who want the spotlight on them. Misfits are there to highlight problems and are proactive in fixing them. Misfits are seen as trouble makers and difficult because they won’t let up and are not afraid to shake up the status quo.

With that out of the way, you have to focus your energies on the positive misfits and let go of the assholes. Your job as a leader is to manage “difficult” people in a way that doesn’t kill the company by:

Bottom line: As misfits, we don’t need to be motivated or prodded, we need freedom and a challenge. We’re not motivated by the spotlight, nor are we in it to kill the company. We’re driven to make things better, not worse, and understand that takes risks. Have a conversation and aim to understand us if you want to deal and get the most out of us.