Why incompetent leaders are dangerous...

It has been very interesting as well as very busy times in life. There have been lot of developments at my job end where I am spending almost 14-15hrs a day but at the same time I think I should start blog posting again.  

Starting with a non-technical topic this time…

Why incompetent leaders are dangerous?

A close friend asked me sometime back and I happen to have interesting experiences with those “incompetent leaders”. The context of this question was that my good friend was offered a job in a good company, good salary, interesting work but under a highly incompetent leader. So should he proceed for it or not? My reply to him was immediate no, while my other friends (since it was group discussion) were in favor of it considering it.  

So why should one avoid working with incompetent leaders?

What should be skills in a leader?

This is interesting question because even my boss recently asked me about it. So let me answer it with context that I hold a technical job (and friend also was supposed to hold a technical job).

  1. Leader should be highly technical with real hands on experience and should be able to showHow something is done” by setting an example.
  2. Leader should have a vision i.e a vision on where we are now, where we need to go and how we get there (well that’s the fundamentals of networking too ;) )
  3. Leader should have a definite objective answer to problems in hand as well as future.
  4. Leader should have a capability to take ownership of things which failed and while giving team credit for success when it comes as Dr APJ Abdul Kalam said.
  5. Leader should have full confidence in team and should be able to build a culture of learning, fun & motivation.
  6. Leader should be there to support team at any point of day and should be a person for “on-call” if ever need comes (considering Core Operations nature of job we guys do).

A leader lacking in these key skills is an incompetent leader and it’s better for a company to stay without resources rather than hiring an incompetent resource.

Next logical question comes is - What can happen if a company hires incompetent resource?  

  1. Since resource is incompetent - there’s a high tendency that resource will try to prove competence and by that it will cause damage to exist decision making (since we are talking of incompetent leader) by unnecessary delays in decision making.
  2. Team’s will have a feel bad factor in mind since they will feel that they are “unlucky”!  (since leader would be considered “lucky”).
  3. Team’s will lack required confidence which is needed to go ahead in decision making due to lack of decision making and confusions caused by the incompetent leader.
  4. Overall instability

Hence, my strong advice to friend was about not working with the incompetent leader and rather avoid the job. Remember amazing words by a smart man  and old guide of mine - Companies Don’t Get Killed by Competition, They Commit Suicide (full post on Zoho blog here).   Time to get back to work before I get tagged with either of above skills!