Do you have a Zealous Extremist working for you?
Characteristics: Strong personal values and life principles; completely passionate and committed to his own belief system. Can be overzealous in preaching or influencing others towards one's belief system.
Traits to look out for: High influencing power, highly cause-motivated, highly certain and enjoys teaching and/or making presentations.
Negative side: Can either work with the organization or against the organization, depending on whether their values are aligned or different.
How to assess when you hire: If the interviewer finds the above tendencies through pro?ling, it is critical to takes the time to fully explore the individual's values as well as the alignment with the organization's value and direction.
You may even have a "Zealous Extremist" as an employee.. If they are aligned with the organization's values and goals, they can be a great asset. However, if they are not aligned with the organization's values and goals it can poison your organization's culture. You need to have direct discussions related to how the misalignment is negatively impacting the organization, what can be done to achieve alignment, and what will happen if the alignment is not achieved. Try to clarify their opinions and causes and then explore how their zeal can be channeled or aligned with the organizations mission and goals. Don't ignore the problem. Face the problem head on through direct discussions the focus on these issues.
The Harrison Assessment uses a simple 30 minute online smart questionnaire that can help you identify these "Zealous Extremist" applicants and determine if they will be assets or liabilities. Or, it can help channel the zeal of existing employees into business results.