It only takes one person to wreck a team, or even a company

You may already know this, but it only takes one person to wreck your company. It is a result of the axiom that energy is contagious. On the positive end, we can intuit that if you have a team of high performance, they will have this descriptor: everyone in the team will have high Skilz and high energy.

The caveat is that EVERYONE needs to be highly energised and highly skilled for a team to be high-performing. More importantly, energy has a greater influence on performance than Skilz.

Consider this; if everyone in your team enjoys what they’re doing, they are learning something new, feel purposeful in what they’re doing and are remunerated appropriately, everybody will have high energy. Here’s the thing, we also know that it only takes one person to have low energy, and the entire team will suffer.

It turns out that energy, both positive and negative, is contagious. High-energy teams bounce off each other, feed off one another, challenge each other, and move their work and outcomes to new heights. On the flip side, it only takes one person’s negative energy to suck the energy from the whole team.

So often, we find those who “suck” our energy are highly skilled and tremendously experienced people who have been exceptionally successful in their own right. They can be some of the most senior people in an organisation; they may hold positions at the high ends of management, even at the board level. These “energy suckers” have all the capabilities needed for their job. Unfortunately, they do not have the energy for it (or might even bring negative energy). It is this person who will suck the life out of everyone else. You would have heard people say: “A players want to play only with A players”, ”it only takes one”, or even “a fish rots from the top”. They’re all expressions of the same thing; if a person with negative energy is near the top of an organisation, they can do a lot of damage. Certainly, the team will be ruined, and if the person is high enough in your senior management team or your board, they can ruin your entire company.