Welcome to another insightful episode of Peak Performance Leadership, hosted by Scott McCarthy, your go-to source for all things leadership and management. In this episode, Scott addresses a pressing concern from an anonymous listener regarding an uncooperative employee causing disruptions within their team. By sharing experiences, advice, and practical strategies, Scott provides guidance on dealing with unruly team members while protecting the overall team dynamics.

In this episode, Scott delves into a post shared by an anonymous middle manager who is struggling with an uncooperative team member. Despite efforts to rectify the situation, the owners have been reluctant to take decisive action. Scott emphasizes the importance of protecting the morale and well-being of the remaining team members, while also striving to address the problematic behavior. He tackles three key groups involved in this scenario: the team members, the disruptive employee, and the owners.

In this engaging episode, Scott McCarthy addresses the challenges faced by a manager dealing with an uncooperative team member. By protecting the team members, documenting incidents, holding the employee accountable, and understanding the owners’ perspectives, the manager can navigate this complex situation and work towards a resolution. As leaders, it is our duty to create a positive and productive work environment for everyone, and sometimes that requires making tough decisions for the betterment of the team as a whole.

Thank you for tuning in to this episode of Peak Performance Leadership. Make sure to subscribe and stay connected for more insightful episodes that will help you become a better leader and drive peak performance within your team.

Timestamped Overview

  • 00:00:56 – Background on the anonymous post: Scott provides an overview of the situation, wherein the manager is grappling with an uncooperative team member who consistently disregards policies and behaves arrogantly within the team.
  • 00:03:26 – Protect your team members: Scott emphasizes the crucial role of ensuring that the other team members feel heard and supported. By allocating time to listen to their concerns and grievances, the manager can foster a sense of trust and make the team members feel prioritized.
  • 00:06:35 – Document everything: Scott echoes the advice of one of the mastermind members, Heather, who suggests meticulously documenting all instances of the uncooperative behavior. Dates, times, witnesses, and relevant statements should be recorded to build a solid case for addressing the issue.
  • 00:08:50 – Hold the uncooperative employee accountable: Scott advises the manager to consistently remind the employee of the company’s policies and the consequences of their actions. By reinforcing the rules and enforcing boundaries, the manager can exert a positive influence and demonstrate what is expected within the workplace.
  • 00:10:24 – Understand the perspective of the owners: Scott acknowledges the manager’s frustration with the owners for not taking appropriate action. However, he encourages the manager to consider the owners’ perspective and possibly engage in a conversation to understand their hesitations and find a mutually agreeable solution.

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The following is an AI generated transcript which should be used for reference purposes only. It has not been verified or edited to reflect what was actually said in the podcast episode. 



Scott McCarthy [00:00:00]:

It is Scott McCarthy, your chief leadership officer here, and just going live for a little bit to talk about the anonymous post we got this week that I said I would do a podcast episode about. So I’m going to do live video here, and then I’m actually gonna turn this into a podcast episode get released for the greater masses because you know what? This person is not alone. And We, as leaders, need to come together to help as many people as we can. So if you are unaware of the post, It is just below. I’ll give you the quick Coles notes for those who are listening to podcast, which is going to be developed. You will have gotten much more of it, in the intro. But nonetheless, the general situation of this, it’s an anonymous post, so I can’t say the person’s name. They’re in middle management.

Scott McCarthy [00:00:56]:

Essentially, it’s them as the manager of a team of 25, and then above them are the owners. Okay? So the owners, them as the manager, and then their team. And, basically, they have a great team. Great team. Everything seems to be going on great. However, there’s 1 person who is not doing what they should do. Being arrogant, as I read this, essentially disregarding policies, privacies, taking breaks as they want disregarding, you know, everything and essentially being the quote unquote bad apple within the team. Now this person states that they’ve been doing what they can to rectify the situation.

Scott McCarthy [00:01:45]:

However, the owners will not Fire the person. Essentially, the person who posted this feels this is the only way, out of this situation, which As I read the post, I basically feel the same way. Unfortunately, not all employees are the best employees. Not all can be saved. And as I’ll get to, you need to worry about your other team members. Right? So this is the situation. Now what are my thoughts on this? First off, you’re not alone as I just said. Right? There are many people out there.

Scott McCarthy [00:02:26]:

And in fact, mastermind member, Heather, commented on the post stating that, you know, she was in a very similar situation. And I recall Heather talking about This with me and with the other mastermind members during our weekly group calls where we get together and discuss issues just like this one. And she was discussing about a situation very similar. And Heather drops out some bombshell advice there for this person. So, be sure to check that out if you haven’t. We are going to tie together Heather’s advice with the things I have to say. Now the first thing I wanna say is you have to Protect your other team members. Right? You have 24 other team members there who basically need to be protected.

Scott McCarthy [00:03:26]:

Now what do I mean protect them? I don’t mean get a shield and stand in front of them and to make sure that this person doesn’t, you know, do anything to harm them or anything. What I mean by that is you need to make sure that they Feel like their concerns are being heard. Okay? You need to take care of them so that you show them they come first, not this other individual. I talk about often this rule, which I’ve heard in the past called the 90/10 rule. And this is a great example of the 90/10 rule. Is that 90% of your time get taken up by 10% of your people. And that 10% is basically what we’re saying are the negative people. I refer to the 1990 The time get taken up by my 90% of my people, I.

Scott McCarthy [00:04:27]:

E, the good people. So you want to make sure that they feel like they’re being taken care of, that their needs and wants are being heard. Their concerns are being heard. Okay? You want them listen to them. They come in to complain and vent about this situation. This is one of those times we need to allow them to do that, to come in and vent and complain about the situation. You have to leave your door open. Now, conversely, I would actually shut my door for this other individual if they come, they wanted to vent or complain about something.

Scott McCarthy [00:05:08]:

Like, sorry. I have other things to do. You’re already taking up enough of my time. It’s time to play herbal. It is time to play Art Ball, of it this individual, but we’ll get to what to do with them in a second. The other Thing with the team members is they have to feel that you’re doing what you can within the scope of power that you have. By now, they if this is going on, as long as it sounds like it’s been going on, Your team members need to feel like you’re doing what you can within your power. So whatever things you can do to rectify this situation, then go after and do it.

Scott McCarthy [00:05:56]:

Understanding, obviously, you do not have the Authority to remove this individual from working with you guys. But whatever else you can control, Use that and show to team members that this is unacceptable. But at the same time, what you’re showing them is that that their concerns are being met with what you’re able to do. Okay? Alright. So this is your team members. We’re gonna talk about 3 different groups here. We’re talking about your team members. Next, we’re gonna talk about this individual.

Scott McCarthy [00:06:35]:

Heather, the vice heather basically dropped was this document everything. Now it seems like this person has been documenting a bit. She states or he states. I’m not sure who they are. I’ve sent numerous emails to the owners. Okay? And I believe there’s a few other instances in the post where they talk about documenting. But Heather is right. You need to document Everything.

Scott McCarthy [00:07:07]:

We need to get into the nitty gritty details. Dates, times, what trans expired. Any witnesses to it transpiring as well as getting statements from them. You need to document everything because if you haven’t officially done anything yet, You’re starting at ground 0. Now she thought they talk about policy in this post. So if there is some kind of formal policy about these issues, IE initial warnings, formal warnings, etcetera, etcetera. So I’ve seen right at the end, they mentioned no written sign and warnings. If these things don’t happen, you’re stuck at the beginning of the process.

Scott McCarthy [00:08:02]:

You need to get that going. So again, whatever you can do within your authority, within your power, Do it. Right? But if you haven’t done anything thus far formally, then you’re at the beginning. So this is why documentation is so crucial because that allows you to build that file. The next thing with this individual is do not I say again, Do not let up. Still continue to attempt to hold them to account for their misactions. Keep telling them what they’re doing is wrong. It’s unacceptable.

Scott McCarthy [00:08:50]:

It will not be tolerated in this workplace. They talk about this person takes between 5 and 6, 10 minute cigarette breaks. Fine. Remind them they’re only entitled to 1 30 or 2 50 minute break while they’re on their work. While the director shift, I assume. Continue. Go out there. Tell them their break is up.

Scott McCarthy [00:09:14]:

When they you see them leaving for a smoke break after they’ve had 2 or 3, remind them, No. You’re not entitled to it anymore. Go back. Do your job. Hold them to account. Hold them within the Lines, the policies which they signed up for, the terms and conditions which they signed up for to work within This company. Alright? You cannot just say to yourself, well, they’re not gonna listen to me, so So I’m not going to bother. This doesn’t do anything for your other team members.

Scott McCarthy [00:09:49]:

Again, back to protecting your other team members. Right? You have to show them what right looks like. And you also, in this case, need to show them what wrong looks like. And this individual is a prime example of what wrong looks like. So keep holding them their feet to the fire of the fire that you can hold them to. Do what you can. Alright? Now 3rd group, the owners. And I read this post, and I’m just like, I shake my head.

Scott McCarthy [00:10:24]:

Shake my head. I don’t quite Understand. Because from what I read, I’m ready to have this person let go. So I don’t understand why the owners haven’t let this person go yet. So you have to look at it from their perspective, though. The problem what’s the problem with firing someone. The problem with firing someone is that you have to have due course reason to fire them. So back to this documentation thing again and following the various steps of the process.

Scott McCarthy [00:11:01]:

Now I understand from this post, but this person has said that the owners are the ones that hold the trigger for all these things. And they’ve attempted to lead up. Right? They have attempted to lead up and essentially help their owners out. They refer to 4 different occasions with a off boarding plan, Address coverage, address termination options. Now the problem is is that You’re going right to the end state that you want with nothing in between. So you have to Make sure that you show to the owners why this has to be done. Right? You can’t just go from someone who’s being a bad apple and jumping straight to firing them without that documentation, without those steps. Now obviously, this person has done a lot.

Scott McCarthy [00:12:04]:

Right? They’ve done a lot. So again, looking at the owner’s perspective, what do they care about? Business owners care about the bottom line. So if you wanna get the owner’s interest quick, Start looking at how much money this individual has cost the company. Okay? Have a look at that. Start telling that up from the 2 people that quit because of this person. Okay? If you can get statements, if you’re still contact with them, get a statement. Basically, stating that fact to prove that they quit because of this individual. Okay.

Scott McCarthy [00:12:50]:

Look at lost productivity due to all these smoke breaks that they’ve been having. Look at any other costs that they’re causing. K? The company may maybe not handling clients well, not sure what their job is. Again, the post doesn’t get into it. But the moral story is this is look at it from the owner’s perspective and say, hey. This person has cost us x number of dollars. And let me tell you, this will get their attention. I had a similar incident once when I was commanding 200 soldiers.

Scott McCarthy [00:13:32]:

Had a member who very similar to this. We had a soldier very similar to this individual. Just not productive, not a team player, Just not productive, not a team player, constantly causing trouble, so on and so forth. Again. I, like you, couldn’t fire this person, or from ours, ours point of view had them released. So I have to do up the justification to recommend for them to be removed from the force. And what I did was I looked at their career, and I mathematically showed That the amount of time they spent in the forces. And of that time, the amount of time compared to their own warnings, Formal warnings that we have within our system compared to the amount of time that they were were not on formal warnings within our system.

Scott McCarthy [00:14:27]:

And let me tell you the amount of times that that they’re on formal warnings, superseded the time and the time they were not. So this was my justification to push up And go and tell Ottawa to say, hey. This person does not deserve to stay within the force. And that recommendation was accepted. I left the job. Don’t know what happened to the individual after, because it does take time. Big bureaucratic, you know, beast, the military is. But this is my advice to you.

Scott McCarthy [00:15:04]:

Okay? Again, looking at those 3 different groups, in summary, take care of your people that you have there now. Look after them. Show them that they matter. Keep that person who is causing a trouble. Keep their feet to the fire, the fire that you can make to hold their feet to the fire. With the owners, Document, push it up, lead upwards, showing them how much of a pain this individual is. And then the final thing I’ll say, in this talk about This situation is that you do mention 1 thing in there a couple times, kinda hint at it. And that is you’re willing and ready basically to quit.

Scott McCarthy [00:15:56]:

That’s how I read it. And this is my point of view on that. If you get to that point, If you’re truly done with this situation, you’re truly tired of the lack of execution on the owner’s part for this, and you’ve literally done everything that you can do. Now you mentioned you don’t want to be the captain jumping off the sinking ship. So let’s keep this in mind. This is my advice. If you’re done, you’re ready to deploy. You are literally going to walk in and drop your 2 week notice.

Scott McCarthy [00:16:33]:

Walk in, give your owners one last chance, and say, basically, it’s me or this individual. I’ve had enough. This is it. And I guarantee you, a bunch of the team will be right behind me. I wouldn’t necessarily go talk to your team about it, but, you know, you know your team. No doubt. So tell them. And then if they say, oh, we’ll hold their feet to the fire and put your letter down, keep your word.

Scott McCarthy [00:17:09]:

And that, hopefully, we’ll get something moving. But if not, at least then You’ve made your decision. You’ve done what you can do. Now are you the captain jumping out of the sinking ship? We can look at it that way. But you can also look at it this way. Is that it was your final attempt to lead Your team and better the situation by attempting to get the owners to realize Change was needed. And if change wasn’t going to come, then you could no longer sit back and produce for them. You could no longer do it.

Scott McCarthy [00:17:55]:

You’re not quitting the team, or rather You’re making a last ditch effort to convince the people with the authority to do something. To do something. So There you go. That is my thoughts on this whole situation. Again, you’re not alone. You’re a good company. It’s a tough spot in the middle. I’m there.

Scott McCarthy [00:18:23]:

I’ve been there. And I will tell you is the most Difficult place to lead from. But my last bit to you is that I believe you’re doing a great job from what I read here, what I see the things. Okay? Few bits of advice there for you. Excuse me. Battling a little bit of a cold here. Anyway, few bits of advice for you. If you wanna talk about this more, I cannot recommend the leader growth mastermind to you or anyone who’s watching, listening to this.

Scott McCarthy [00:19:02]:

This is exactly the type of conversations we have every week. But instead of going through the podcast or instead of through Facebook, posts. We do it face to face. So if you wanna learn more and Sign up. Don’t even just sign up. Go to lead. Don’t boss.comforward/ Mastermind. And you can sign up right there and join us.

Scott McCarthy [00:19:34]:

No risk. 30 day money back guarantee. Not for you. Not a big deal. Here you go. But I tell you, come on a call, and your life will change just like Heather’s. And Heather just literally Commented sign up exclamation point. It is so worth it.

Scott McCarthy [00:19:56]:

Triple exclamation point. Thank you, Heather. You’re a rock star. And that is it, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you again. Lead. Don’t boss. Take care, and we’ll see you