My most recent experience with a Brilliant Jerk occurred when I was helping a group of 25 doctors thrash out their shared values as they tried to become a real company.
Toward the front of the room, I spotted the Brilliant Jerk. He was the one doctor who dampened the unity with subtle but consistent complaining about why the group couldn’t do some things and shouldn’t do others. When he spoke, everyone became quiet and listened — not out of excitement for what he was going to say but out of respect. Yes, the doctors had respect for the Brilliant Jerk.