High performers are welcome in any business and people who consistently meet their performance objectives are likely to be promoted over those who don’t. Some employees are so "driven" they spend every waking moment accomplishing their career goals and soon become budding stars. Is your best performer "driven" or is there something else going on?
Driven people are highly motivated and focused on their goals. They make compromises in their life to reach those goals. There are times when they make mistakes and make a wrong choice, but ultimately they continue on the right path. They believe that through persistence and hard work they can obtain what is important to them.
Pathological workers may also show high drive toward their goals and similarly make mistakes. However, they also carry with them other traits such as hostility, risk-taking, deceitfulness, callousness, grandiosity, irresponsibility, impulsivity and manipulativeness (De Caluwei, Decuyper & De Clercq, 2013). The value of the goal succeeds other considerations in much the same was as a gambling addict can't stop gambling.
Employees who are goal driven are an asset to any organization and create high expectations for others to achieve. They raise company performance and are a positive contributor to workplace culture. They do not neglect their needs, and they concern themselves with how they achieve those goals. High ethical standards and performance can work hand-in-hand.
Workers who show pathological behavior are outside the normal and seem to put an inappropriate weight on the achievement of a particular goal. Its obtainment appears to be more of an extension of the self, and its importance is artificially raised until few things else seem to matter. People become a nuisance in the process and their input can be discarded.
“Win at all costs” pathological behavior should be discouraged in the workplace. I have seen organizations where individuals achieve their goals at the expense of the entire company. Pathological employees get promoted because they create results but also damage their teams and departments in the process. They are the chaos creators that lower departmental performance, develop toxic work environments, and increase turnover rates
Well rounded employees can put their goals in perspective of the rest of their lives and the needs of others. They understand that while their objectives are essential they must also raise the status of the group and fulfill the needs of the company. Pathological employees are incapable of such reasoning and are only loyal to themselves. Higher human performance comes with focus and drive. To those with a conscious the ends is not the only justification of the means.
De Caluwe, E. Decuyper, M. & De Clercq, B. (2013). The child behavior checklist dysregulation profile predicts adolescent DSM-% pathological personality traits in 4 years. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 22 (7).