Solution Saturday: Help! My Boss is Incompetent

Dear Leadership Freak,

My boss drives me crazy. He’s incompetent. He has no people skills. The trouble is the people upstairs think he’s doing a good job.


Frustrated with incompetence!

the behavior you haven't tried yest is the one that will take you to the next level

Dear Frustrated,

The people upstairs think bosses are doing a great job when they deliver great results. Sometimes, leaders are willing to sacrifice relationships for results.

First, learn how to deliver results from your boss. Ignore his weakness. Focus on his strength. What is your boss doing to deliver great results.  Try emulating some of those behaviors, even if they might feel awkward at first.

The behavior you haven’t tried is the one that will take you to the next level.

Your boss is great at something. How might you learn from him?

Second, here’s a list of five behaviors to avoid. Don’t:

  1. Complain to the boss’s boss. The exception is ethical violations.
  2. Try to fix your bad boss.
  3. Take it personally. Don’t take frustration with your boss home with you.
  4. Pull back or slack off. Never let a bad boss be the reason you sabotage your career.
  5. Don’t stay too long.

Third, always begin with tenderness and compassion. If you’re a direct person, tone it down. Show empathy for the stresses your boss may be under.

Fourth, suggest development programs that help everyone, including your boss. If your boss is lousy at relationships, suggest a training program on emotional intelligence, for example.

Fifth, always work to make things better.

Define “better” within the boundaries of things you control.

You’re frustrated because someone else isn’t doing what they should do. Focus on doing things you should do.

You have my best for the journey,

Leadership Freak

What suggestions do you have for “Frustrated?”