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Solution Saturday: Dishonest and Boasting

This email arrived a couple days ago.

Would you please write about leaders who bulldoze, have poor communication skills, lack follow-through, present dishonestly, blame others for their weak areas, yet continually boast about how good they are while under-performing in just about every area of responsibility.

Could you shed some light on how peer leaders can work with this person?  

How staff can trust and follow the lead of this person?  

How members of the organization can stay committed?

Others don’t change us. We change ourselves.

Stay committed?

  1. Clarify and commit to your values.
  2. Behave in ways that express your guiding principles, regardless of the consequences.
  3. Learn to navigate conflicting values.

Trust and follow?

Can’t be done.

How to work with a lousy leader?

  1. Stressed out. The stress won’t go away as long as you care about colleagues, your organization, and yourself. It’s going to drive you crazy as long as the situation continues.
  2. Develop your character. You’re getting powerful lessons on who not to be.
    • How are you becoming the leader you respect. Become the leader you wish you had. (Most important.)
    • What behaviors take you where you want to go?
    • How are you grappling with anger, bitterness, or revenge?
  3. Keep a daily journal of reflections and lessons learned.
  4. Don’t sabotage yourself. Do your best, regardless of the behavior of others. 
  5. Document your work.
  6. Invite coaches and mentors into your life.
  7. Don’t try to reform a lousy leader, unless you’re willing to lose your job.

Work to change things?

  1. Don’t speak up unless you’re willing to work to make things better.
  2. Speak directly to the leader before going over his/her head.
  3. Make it about your organization, not you. If it’s personal, you come off as a self-centered whiner.


Look for a new job.

How has your leadership improved from working with a lousy leader?

What suggestions might you offer for working with a lousy leader?

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