A recent study from Ireland's University College Dublin finds that the vendetta – the sworn desire to get back at somebody – can help a person's performance at work. The study looked at soccer players who were bitter after being traded and had vowed to get even. The data show those players tended to do better against their old team than if the parting was amicable.
Jason Voss is a former money manager who's now at the CFA Institute in New York. He's also someone who has tasted sweet revenge in his career. "The ability to take dissonance and turn it into a positive force" is how Voss describes the benefits of having a vendetta.
Voss used to be an investment manager based in Santa Fe working for a New York firm. He felt maligned by his New York based collegues, some of whom described him as merely "helping out in Santa Fe" even though they were his subordinates. When Voss complained to the firm's directors, they advised him to take revenge by outperforming his New York counterparts -- which he did.
"I think it's what you do with it," Voss says. "It could be a positive force."