Hi, this is Dr. Roger Hall. And this is Rogers. 2 cents.
In this video blog, I answer questions that people have written on cards. Open them in front of you and give you my 2 cents right off the cuff. If you’d like to submit one of these, send it to 6568 South Federal way, Suite 223, Boise, Idaho, 83716.
All right, so here’s our question for today. How do you lead staff who are tornado magnets? Any tips?
This presupposes you know what a tornado magnet is. This was a person who went to one of my trainings and I explained what a tornado magnet is. So let me explain it to you. This is a term I coined decades ago to describe people who have a disproportionate number of problems. Anyone can get hit by a tornado. But if you keep getting hit by tornadoes, like you live in a mobile home on top of a hill with a giant sail on top in Oklahoma, you’re doing something to attract tornadoes.
And there are those people, and everyone has them in their life. They have a disproportionate number of problems and you’ve met them. They walk into a room and chaos ensues. Things break. People start fighting each other. And you’ve met these people in workplaces that everyone’s getting along peaceably. And then this new person comes in and then now what happens. Now, people who used to be getting along are now fighting. And very often these tornado magnets create chaos wherever they go. You’ve seen them at the department of motor vehicles standing in line, and there’s always a problem. You’ve seen them in hospitals, you’ve seen them at bus stops. You see them everywhere. They always have problems. Because anyone can get hit by a disaster, but a tornado magnet attracts disasters.
So the question is, how do you lead a tornado magnet? Well, I have a rule that if you’re not related to me by blood or marriage and you’re a tornado magnet, I don’t want you in my life.
They are remarkably difficult to change. And in the workplace, I strongly encourage you to find, is there a way to help them find another place to work? Because they will create chaos in your organization. You will be doing not just yourself, but all the people on your staff, a service by helping this person find another place to work. Now, that seems harsh for the tornado magnet, but you as a leader have a responsibility to all the people who are working with you, not just the one person. So work with your human resources department. Find out, you know what? What’s our way of helping a person find new employment? Make sure you document it well. Talk to HR experts on this. I’m not an HR expert. I don’t know all the ways your company works, but tornado magnets, these are people who create chaos wherever they go. They tend to have disasters all the time. These are people who are probably going to drag your organization down. These are not people you want in your organization. Again, that seems difficult. A difficult thing to say, it seems heartless. It seems cruel, but I’m thinking about the greater good, the larger number, because lots of people will be affected by tornado magnets, and you’re not likely to get tornado magnets to change.
And that’s Roger’s 2 cents.