First, let's talk about the characteristics of a "prima donna." The term comes from the star or leading-lady of the ballet. They are highly skilled and the audience (your clients) love them. In fact, many people in the audience come to see the show (your business) because they want to see the prima donna. The audience members have heard about them and the prima donna has gotten stellar reviews in the NY Times. (think Yelp, Google, etc. for business) They have an inflated sense of themselves because, well, basically they know the show is dependent on them.
They tend to whine, complain, gossip and/or dramatize. And, they are like the "princess and the pea". One little thing is out of whack in their opinion and they are set off. Their schedule is too full, there are too many breaks in their schedule, the schedule is too light. Never satisfied.
They sometimes laugh in the face of rules and will do some of the most preposterous things in order to get their way, even make their OWN show start and end times...after all the show will start and end for them! And, because they are the prima donna, they feel they will get away with it.
And, so, you might ask, what's a director (boss) to do?
Double cast the prima donna: Always have multiple stars in your show that are interchangeable. This puts all prima donnas in their place, the show is never dependent on just one, AND the prima donna doesn't get a superiority complex.
Detach yourself emotionally from the prima donna, from the get-go: Directors mustn't sleep with or otherwise fraternize with their prima donna. Their head is swelled enough and they don't need any unnecessary reinforcement from the director. A serene director knows that even the prima donna can always be replaced.
Be on the look-out on a regular basis for cast members. Audition (interview) them whether you need them or not. Find them in universities, on Craigs List, at "cattle calls" (trade shows and events in your industry), attract them with an employment page on your website, find them at parties.
And, for less stress in your "show," think less talented, better attitude, easy to get along with, and reliable. If your audience has never seen a prima donna in your productions, they won't know the difference, and they will come back to your company again and again. Because, they love the consistent quality.
Prima donnas tend to be loyal for a time, then quit and find another show as it suits them.
Stay tuned for "If You Mess With My Serenity- You're Fired!- Part Three"