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Avoid Shark Week at Work

Avoid Shark Week at Work

Great White Sharks are ferocious predators. Place one of these predators inside an aquarium with other fish and it will soon be the only one left.

The Great White’s DNA is programmed to eat other fish.

Likewise, it only takes one employee to spell disaster for your team.  If you hire the wrong person, your highly productive team will come to an end. One predatory employee will end the magic of a spirited team.

I saw this first hand in one of the departments I managed. We had a highly effective team that worked well together. Disagreements in methods or strategy would be worked out with civility; making them an even better work group. The camaraderie among this team was excellent, until….

Susan (not her real name) became a new member of the team.  The environment began to quickly change from healthy to toxic. Controversy was almost an everyday occurrence. And all the incidents had one similar characteristic; Susan, the predator, was always at the center of the conflict.

Susan disagreed with most everybody and her way was the right way or the highway. Often she got personal and attacked members of the team.


She was like putting a Great White Shark in an aquarium full of fish. The team couldn’t get work completed because they were on the lookout for the next attack.


Blood was in the water and Susan’s main goal was to attack her team, not get work done.  There was drama on a daily basis. She was an energy vampire.

When you are recruiting a new employee, avoid Shark Week in the office. Create a hiring system that will eliminate predatory employees. There are personality assessments that effectively weed out bad actors, like Susan. No matter how impressive her technical skills are, do not hire a Susan in your office.


The People Group utilizes an assessment tool that helps prevent bad hiring decisions for our clients. If you are interested, click here to contact us.

Kevin Kennemer is founder of The People Group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin is driven by his passion for company owners and their need to earn a profit, employees’ desire for a positive and fulfilling work experience, and the community that benefits when both groups do well.

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