Would You Like to Work With Competent Jerks or Lovable Fools?

I stumbled upon a study featured in Harvard Business Review on competence and likability of co-workers.

Its interesting, read the full report (PDF): Competent Jerks, Lovable Fools, and the Formation of Social Networks

Based on competence and likability, four types are defined.

  • competent jerk – knows a lot but is unpleasant to deal with
  • lovable fool – doesn’t know much but is a delight to have around
  • lovable star – both smart and likable
  • incompetent jerk – self-explanatory!

Organizations usually weed out both the hopelessly incompetent and the socially clueless. Everybody wanted to work with the lovable star, and nobody wanted to work with the incompetent jerk. Selecting between competent jerks and lovable fools is the difficult choice. Read the full article (PDF) and the abstract too.

Tail piece:How to become a lovable star? Here is my advice (don’t quote me at office)! Be obedient and yield to your managers, go out of your way to acknowledge and help people around you, and become an expert at your tasks. That’s it!

Well, I am trying to be a lovable star! I have to improve on the first part though – be obedient and yield to managers!

What type are you?

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