For those interested and versed in French, I've translated (with his authorization) Jeffrey Zeldman's post "20 signs you don’t want that web design project" into French : 20 signes que vous ne voulez pas de ce projet de design web.
Disclaimer: I've happily worked with Happycog in the past and, while first approaching Jeffrey Zeldman and Douglas Bowman for a big redesign five years ago, I've been extremely careful to hide a certain number of those traits — unfortunately common to the inner politics of many companies — beforehand and, more importantly, to shield the working team from them during the whole project. Funnily, although not really a coincidence, I gave a speech last month at Paris Web 2008 around the same tell-tales, signs for trouble, as seen from the other side of the mirror: the client's side. (It's in French, but not everything has to be written in English ;-), sorry.)
I guess it boils down to learning how to work with people, not just get people to work for you. (And do I need to explain that working with great people is infinitely more fulfilling than working for anyone?)