South-Western - Management  
Aggression Loses Some of its Punch
Topic Managing Individuals and Teams
Key Words teamwork, aggression
InfoTrac Reference none
News Story

Aggression as a desirable trait in an employee has not gone away, but companies are looking for people who can work well with others. Employees who consistently cause problems are often let go, even if they are good performers otherwise. Co-workers avoid working with the self-centered ego-maniac who limits their ability to perform on a team.

Pfizer's vice president of HR explains the need for global teams in a more complex business marketplace. Lucent requires its salespeople to work together to sell integrated systems, and rewards individuals only when the company hits its number. Wall Street brokerages have done away with individual commissions in favor of salary with bonus. Merrill Lynch is organizing brokers into teams to improve its service to high income clients.

Overly aggressive managers are costing companies money from harassment suits and hostile work environments, not to mention the loss of good employees. Sales people are expected to share information or technology skills with other sales people. People who can't work with others are being let go.

Questions
1.

Why does a person with an aggressive personality not always make a good team member?

2.

How can this trait be channeled to benefit the company?

3.

Explain this statement: "She trains people to turn their aggression from "reactive" to "strategic."

Source Francine Russo, "Aggression Loses Some of its Punch," Time, July 30, 2001.
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