Friday, April 06, 2007


I am in my second job in a row with a terrible leader. The first one was cruel and controlling, and I was right below her. She made it impossible for me to do my job and she was chipping away at my sanity, so I left. The current one is ineffectual, not very bright, and, as a result, defensive. However, there is a layer of capable management between us, and the workplace is much larger, so, for the most part, I am able to do my job in peace. Yesterday, however, his incompetence interfered with my life, both practically, in a very screwed up meeting, and conceptually, as I was forced to face, once again, the deep damage he is doing.

I am spoiled, I think, because the person I worked under in No Longer Red State was a paragon. He was thoughtful, even-handed, intelligent, respected, supportive, responsive--I would have laid down on hot coals for him.

I am interviewing for another job. It is a better fit for me, I suspect, and I thought it was a better place to work. I have just started hearing rumblings about the leadership there, but they are faint and mixed. I need to investigate.

It makes me sad how many bad leaders there are, and how much more difficult they make it to do good work (and you are certainly welcome to extend that thought nationally).

[Vocabulary moment: What is the difference between ineffective and ineffectual?]


Kelly said...

I don't know what the difference is, but I understand what you're dealing with. In my job the leadership is spread out over dozens of people who don't talk to one another, and what trickles down hill (or I should say landslides downhill) to the rest of us just below middle management is basically a daily storm of fires and we spend all of our time trying to figure out how to prioritize the work of extinguishing the fires.

Lucy said...

Reisting the dictionary urge, it seems an ineffective person is incompetent and an ineffectual person is quite close. That's my take. Regarding bad bosses: I have had every variety, and rarely the wits to be wary. Dumb is sometimes worse than mean and threatened is the absolute shit.