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Terrell Owens Controversy Mirrors Corporate America Management Issues; Workplace Legal Expert Robin Bond Comments on What Today's Workforce Can Learn from T.O.

WAYNE, Pa. -- Corporate managers, like professional sports coaches, are paid to assemble teams of talented professionals who can take their organizations to new levels of success. In both arenas, the impact of an elite performer can transform the team, for better or for worse.

The ongoing controversy involving Terrell Owens, the NFL superstar recently suspended by the Philadelphia Eagles due to disparaging comments he made regarding his teammates and his team, has placed a spotlight on the universal management quandary of what to do when a supposed rainmaker gets rankled.

"Whether you work for a finance company or a football team, the bottom line is you have to be a good fit for the organization to be successful," according to Robin Bond, a workplace legal expert who represents Fortune 500 executives. "High-performing individuals who require excessive praise, have unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment or lack concern for the feelings and needs of others can initially make a positive impact on an organization's bottom-line, but are often destructive long-term."

What's the best way to address issues when you feel your work warrants more than you're receiving from management? "In the workplace, a sense of frustration can result if superstars think all employees are being treated equally, regardless of performance or contributions," Bond notes. "To protect against this, employers need to clearly define the behaviors that comprise good performance - including interpersonal skills - so expectations are clear that there is no 'I' in team. Frustrated employees need to be strategic, not reactive, in developing an effective game plan to overcome workplace setbacks."

For professionals used to being heavily recruited (and for those living in their shadow), Bond offers the following advice:

Think you're a superstar? Think twice...
-- No one is irreplaceable. You either roll with the machine, or
 the machine will roll over you.

 -- Performance is not just what you put up on the scoreboard.
 It's a combination of Effort, Results, and Attitude - your
 workplace "ERA."

 -- If you think you're being treated unfairly relative to your
 performance, do an honest self-assessment, and be big enough
 to listen to constructive criticism.

 If you find the new guy making a play for your position, Bond
recommends these survival strategies:

 1.) Interact strictly on an as-needed basis, and never confide in
 him.

 2.) If he undermines or attacks you, confront him privately, and
 calmly. Don't argue, just tell him, "Don't ever do that
 again."

 3.) Document. You are likely to catch him in contradictions that
 will be useful in the future.


For more advice about workplace ego etiquette or other employment related issues, visit www.RobinBond.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 15, 2005
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