Saving teams from smart but tough leaders

We can polish your rough diamonds

Every business has rough diamonds; people who are smart, ambitious, and skilled – yet not shining as brightly as they could. Their positive contributions are offset by the collateral damage they cause along the way, bruising or demotivating colleagues, damaging relationships or alienating customers. Rough diamonds create a real dilemma when it comes to talent management. How do you weigh up the pros and cons of promoting a rough diamond into a bigger job? Will their strengths be enough? Or is the risk too great? It’s especially tough when your choices are limited.

Does this feel familiar?



Kevin was a newly recruited senior Director of an international company. He was intelligent, ambitious and hard working. Unfortunately he also had a reputation for driving people hard and losing his temper when others failed to meet his exacting standards. This aspect of his behaviour was identified as a barrier to him progressing to a more senior role, so we were asked to help.

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Susan was an experienced Project Director, leading large engineering teams to design a complex oil and gas installation in the Middle East. Her boss was concerned that her forthright manner tended to  ‘ruffle the feathers’ of clients in meetings.

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