Prima Plumber Donna

You know who they are. They are the prima donnas of the plumbing world and woe be to the plumbing company that attracts one.

Prima Donnas are Good

The problem with the prima donnas is they produce. They are flat out good at the job. They are great with customers. When you look at their numbers you will wish you had ten of them.

Sales may not make all of your problems go away, but they can sure buy you time to work on them. Prima donnas produce sales.

Prima Donnas Know They are Good

The prima donnas wouldn’t be so bad if they had a smidgeon of humility. They don’t. At least, on the surface they don’t. They bluster around the shop. They are arrogant. They act entitled.

Here’s the truth about most prima donnas: they are insecure and the arrogance is a cover to hide their insecurity and lack of self-worth. If they were more secure, they would be more humble.

Prima Donnas Demand Special Treatment

Prima donnas think their performance merits special treatment. They don’t believe the rules apply to them.

Late for a service meeting? Pfft. You should feel lucky they show up at all.

Paperwork? Whaddya want? They’re rainmakers, after all. So what if the paperwork’s not perfect or complete.

While prima donnas demand special treatment for themselves, they feel little or no need to extend grace to others. In short, they often treat their co-workers like crap. Because, well, they are prima donnas.

Prima Donnas Crush Morale

Everyone in the company knows when there’s a prima donna and special treatment is meted out. They know it and resent it, even if they do not say it. The resentment crushes morale, lessens performance, and will eventually turn the workplace into a toxic environment.

Prima Donnas Aren’t Always Plumbers

You can have prima donnas in virtually any position in the company. They can be service managers, office managers, CSRs, bookkeepers, or anyone else in the company. They are people who feel they are indispensable to the organization and like to throw their weight around.

Prima Donnas Exist as Long as You Allow Them

Admit it. Against your better judgment you allow the prima donnas to exist. You allow them to get away with treating others poorly. You allow them to break the rules. You allow them because you are afraid of them. You are afraid the company will not be able to replace them or their performance should they get mad, throw a tantrum, and walk away from the company. You allow their behavior. You.

Adopt a “Next Man Up” Philosophy

What would you do if the company’s biggest prima donna was hit by a truck? You would find someone to step in and step up. Maybe the prima donna’s performance wouldn’t be equaled at first, but the cold reality is most prima donnas are drag down the performance of others in the organization more than they deliver themselves. Dismiss the prima donna and watch overall company performance soar.

Knowing When It’s Time

How do you know when it’s time to let a prima donna go? You know. You know in your gut that this guy is toxic, that it’s not working, that the company is turning into a miserable place to be…  at least it is when the prima donna is around. You know it in your gut, but you deny it because of the performance.

As soon as you know in your gut that the prima donna is not going to work out, take action. Every day you wait is a day the company suffers. You might think that the prima donna has admirers and followers who will quit if the prima donna is let go. This will not happen. More than likely, people will make side comments that suggest they’ve been waiting for you to act and can’t believe it took you so long.

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