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I used to be a star performer in your team till a couple of years ago, and then I got lazy. I worked in sales and broke into some major accounts. As a result, my bonus payments grew and even though I didn’t make any new sales, my old breakthroughs meant that I bagged a comfortable salary every year.
This bag of green made me a little complacent and it’s apparent to everyone, that I don’t give more than 50% to the job now. I am here because I did some good things in the past, and the old – timers like me.
The new people in the team hate me because I come to work at 10, leave at 4, while they come at 8 and leave at 8. To them, I am free riding on their efforts. To me, if it weren’t for my breakthroughs, these guys wouldn’t have a job in the first place.
To the management, as long as the money comes in, they don’t care. But, the money stops coming in. The recession hits, and suddenly there is surplus staff. Corporate sends you a memo asking you to identify one person from your team who can be fired.
Everyone knows about the memo and you can observe that there is a spurt in everyone’s productivity. Even I am reaching work at 7 and hardly ever leave before 9. I make almost double the sales calls, I used to, but because of the bad market, I am not able to make any sales.
The other guys in the team are working hard as usual, and are quite happy that you will get rid of me now and their hard work will pay off (because their job has been protected).
You are in a dilemma because you know that I have the potential of being a fire-cracker and with my renewed energy, I could break into more accounts. The other guys, while being sincere, never showed any promise of getting any major breakthroughs.
I am brilliant but insincere, while they are sincere, but not brilliant.
Will you choose sincerity or brilliance?
Disclaimer: I am neither brilliant, nor sincere in real life.