Well, this may not be a nice way to put it but how often do we find ourselves working for someone who doesn’t appear to have the skills needed to be in their position. What are some clues that you might be working for an incompetent leader?
- When the staff doesn’t trust the information given by the leader or they don’t feel supported so they minimize the occasions they seek assistance from them.
- When they are unable to be a resource due to lack of critical skills relevant to the job.
- When the leader only uses or implements their own ideas with and/or without input from peers or staff.
- When the leader takes credit for the ideas and work of their subordinates or peers.
- When they do not have the ability to have vision. They live by the status quo. “We’ve always done it this way.”
- When the leader becomes impotent when making decisions. Do they ask for everybody’s opinions, and then accept nothing or do they just make decisions in a vacuum?
How do you work around an incompetent leader?
Do a reality check for yourself. How do you know it’s not your personal biases? Are you biased because you just don’t like them on a personal level?
Are you operating on your highest level in your present position? Do you have sound ideas?
Is it possibly a lack of understanding of the leader’s job requirements?
Here’s a question. Is this boss impeding your progress with the organization? Do you have opportunities to bring ideas to the forefront? If so, you must be creative in getting your work seen by others within an organization.
If your boss is not impeding your ability to influence change and progress then “just let it go”. Be content in your ability to influence where you are.
But if you want to make a difference on a higher level on a bigger playing field then you need to be seen and heard. Volunteer for committees or special projects and network with other leaders within the organization so your work can be seen.
Don’t bad mouth your incompetent leader to others. If you’re seen as a backstabber others won’t be so quick to put you in a higher position of authority for fear that you may do the same to them. Let your work speak for itself. Be willing to take those risks and have a plan B. An exit strategy, if you will.
The truth is mediocre leaders exist on all levels. The “Peter Principle” is real. People are often promoted to the level of their incompetency. So sometimes, your boss may have an incompetent boss and so on. If the people above them are also mediocre leaders, you still may not be seen, heard, or recognized for your work. It could be that your next strategy will need to be that you work somewhere else where your talents might be appreciated.
Another strategy to be sure your ideas are heard and implemented is when you are your own boss! Entrepreneurship is the truest form of true leadership. It’s where you can line up your values with the strengths of your leadership abilities. You must be willing to take on the work. There’s no complaining about the boss in this line of work.
So how do you survive the incompetent boss? Work with them. Work around them, or best yet, work without them and be your own boss! Good luck!
For help becoming the leader you want to be contact Naomi for a free consultation and download “Living the Legacy of Leadership Day by Day”. www.lifecoachrn.com.
Naomi is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is owner and CEO of Consults Unlimited Inc., a Professional Life Coaching company. She is known as the Life Coach RN. As a Life Coach she specializes in helping nursing leadership “Live and Work Smarter not Harder!” With over 30 years of nursing experience, she has been in management for over 19 years. For more information about coaching with Naomi, visit http://www.LifeCoachRN.com