Helping Nurses "Live Smarter Not Harder" by Balancing the Mind, Body, Soul and Spirit

Posts tagged ‘dysfunctional workplace’

Help Me I’m Working for a Dummy!

Nurse_iStock_000018012746Small (2)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”.

About Naomi

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

Living Smarter not Harder in 2012. – How you can create a more positive work place.

There are several techniques to keep yourself “happy” at work.   I will share my 3 top tips in this area but before I do, we have to discuss “happiness”. First let me tell you that happiness is relevant.  It is dependent on so many external influences.  That’s why it’s elusive to so many people.  

If you’re working in a really dysfunctional workplace sometimes the only thing you can do is to leave it.  Before you do try some of these tips.

  1. Make sure you have your attitude together.  So often it’s easier to see the toothpick in someone else’s eye but you can’t see the tree trunk in your own eye.  Take a check up from the neck up.  Take time to reflect on your own values and aspirations.  Do they fit with the organizations? Can YOU live with what you do at work?   People who are miserable in their own life are often miserable at work.  
  2.  Live and let live.  Just as you examine your own dreams and decide how you fit into the world and work, so are your coworkers.  People come from all different backgrounds and experiences. Those experiences color the way we perceive the world and approach our work.  Big eye opener… Everybody doesn’t do things the way that you do and you can’t live someone else’s life for them.  (Mind your business)  The good part is we all can learn and we all can change.  We don’t have to hold on to those things that don’t serve us or our work community well. 
  3.  Don’t fall for the ‘itching ears’ practice. This is where you are the gossip carrier.  Do you notice how bad news travels fast and positive information has a very short life?  This is human nature.  Try YOUR best to be the positive influence.  Use lunch time and breaks to just talk. Absolutely No gossip or work talk at the table.   (This is Mandatory)  Be the transformer in your workplace. Lead the way.  Everyone may not come with you but you will be happier when you are the captain of your own ship.

Finally let me restate that happiness is an outside job. Joy is an inside job.  Joy is what you carry inside yourself based on your beliefs about your place in this world.  Joy brings confidence and is not as easily influenced by outside forces. However you do have to protect it and nourish it.  You do that by taking time for yourself.  You can’t’ give what you don’t have! 

What do you do to keep positive at work?  Share your comments.  


For more information about taking care of yourself, visit my website

Naomi Jones is a Registered Nurse, Certified Life Coach, Presenter and Motivational Speaker.  She specializes in helping nurses “Live Smarter not Harder” by taking care of themselves first then reaching out to others.  After all, you can’t give what you don’t have.