The Difference Between High Maintenance and High-Performance Employees.

Successful people are confident. They drive themselves to exceed their own expectations and most times, they win at whatever they set their minds to accomplish.

They can also be demanding and more high maintenance than most because they're able to articulate what they want and aren't afraid to ask for it.

The differences between a high performing thoroughbred race horse individual deserving of quality treatment and a royal pain in the rump high maintenance employee are easy to recognize once you know what to look for.

Here are 5 signs of slipping from a thoroughbred to a royal pain in the rump:

1. They're needy.

They've called, they've emailed, and they've texted. Since the world surely revolves around them, if the person on the receiving end of their communication doesn't respond immediately, they freak out.

When you're needy, everything is an emergency. As I once said to an employee in the middle of yet another meltdown, your poor planning does not dictate an emergency on my end.

If you're falling prey to this type of behavior, get a grip, relax and come up with 5 reasons in your head as to why that person's lack of response has nothing to do with you. Everyone is busy.

2. They're competitive with co-workers to the point of abandoning the team.

Winners naturally rise to the top, but high maintenance employees stair step their way to the top by stepping on those around them. Discounting the value of a team environment and refusing to assist coworkers for the good of the whole is a rookie mistake - one that does not go unnoticed by leadership.

Winners think long term. They see the value in doing their best, exceeding expectations, and assisting others along the way. Royal pain in the rumps think short term. How can I win? Is the question in the forefront of their minds, while winners wonder: How can I win and how can I help my team along the way?

3. They're not willing to admit mistakes.

Insecurity and high maintenance behaviors go hand in hand.

Insecure people refuse to accept blame or admit failure. They also lie to cover up mistakes and often point the finger at others.

High maintenance employees are quick to blame others and choose defensiveness when questioned.

Winners admit their mistakes and learn from them.

4. They choose drama over peace.

High maintenance people love to create drama in the work environment. They love to gossip about others and spread bad news.

Unfortunately, one bad apple really does ruin the whole bunch. Winners hold their tongues on gossip, spin bad news into opportunity, and raise morale.

Royal pain in the rumps feed on negativity and prefer drama over positivity.

5. They're oblivious to others.

Think of a bull running through a china shop. That's a high maintenance employee image right there.

They interrupt others during meetings, go on and on with complete disregard to their listener, and demand special treatment that others don't receive.

High performing winners know they can call in favors if necessary, beg forgiveness once in a while, and slip out early, but they don't push it.

Pain in the rumps don't think rules apply to them. They will push the limit on every boundary, refuse to ask permission, and assume that special treatment is an entitlement.

In today's job market, no one is irreplaceable. High performance is not a free pass for high maintenance behavior.

We all slip into needy once in a while, but daily self-awareness will save you from being put out to pasture.

Reprinted with permission via Tamara Star for LinkedIN
Photo via Flickr Susanne Nilssen