Challenge Case: Toxic Genius

We have intelligent engineers who are both technical heroes that save us from catastrophe and childish bullies that berate people they see as inferior.

I don’t know what to do about a group of toxic geniuses. They’ve been here since the beginning.

Our systems are complex, and these people know our systems better than anyone else. When unexpected failures arise, these are the ones who swoop in, get the system running again, and stop the bleeding.

But they also have very little tolerance for others in the company who don’t understand things as much as they do. They are easily frustrated with people who ask them questions about how the system works, and they can belittle others who don’t catch on as quickly as they do.

Other people don’t always complain about their treatment, but I can see it in their faces and demeanor, as well as in their reluctance to go to these toxic geniuses for help.

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