Ask people why they are looking for a different job, and it is not uncommon to find out that there is no click with the manager, who they often find incompetent. And rightly so, that is often the case, explains a business psychologist in an opinion magazine. According to him, this is because managers often become bosses, because they have excessive self-confidence, while they lack skills. It would be better if people were more modest. As Voltaire (French writer, historian and philosopher) said, “Doubt is unpleasant, but certainty is absurd.”
Principles and a strong advice
I would also like to mention both the Dilbert and Peter principles here, which contribute to the number of incompetent leaders. I will explain them below. So, in the next few chapters, you will learn why there are so many bad managers.
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Nowadays, incompetent leaders unfortunately are the norm. And we know very well what good leadership is. A good leader should be intelligent, competent, empathetic, humble, communicate well, guide and inspire his or her people and brings out the best in them. Above all, it is someone who knows himself and herself and takes his or her talents and limitations into account. In other words, this is coaching leadership. But look around you. How many leaders with these characteristics do you see around you or come across? The fact is that these kinds of bosses are exceptional.
The problem is that we systematically confuse self-confidence with competence, while those are two entirely different things. Competence is how good you are at something, confidence is the idea you have about what you can do. I prefer to choose my heart surgeon, taxi driver and boss based on what they can do effectively rather than because of what they believe they can do themselves.
Let’s do away with these so-called loudmouths, braggers and pseudo-high potentials!
The Dilbert principle
This principle claims that people who are too good at their present job, cannot be missed on that level. Instead others, probably less competent, will get the promotion and are destined not to fare very well. Yes, I know this sounds pretty weird, but it does happen in a number of cases. I have dedicated an article to this phenomenon, which you can access by clicking here.
The Peter principle
And here is another beauty. There are a lot of companies that will promote the same person again and again, but such an employee always ends up on a level that they lack the competency for. Again, unbelievable but it happens all the time. If you are interested to read more on these mishaps, then check out my full article by clicking here.
The fact that we are so fixated on self-confidence and so-called non-nonsensical principles have devastating consequences. Countries like Venezuela and Argentina have been ruined by successive incompetent leaders who are blind to their own shortcomings. The 2008 banking crisis can be reduced to incompetence, taking irresponsible risks and unsubstantiated self-confidence. Entire sectors are in trouble and companies are falling under bad management. A Gallup Poll in 2017 found that 75 percent of people who quit do so for reasons related to poor leadership. In an economy in which your personnel is your largest capital, you can no longer afford to.
This may come as a surprise for some, but in recent times, it has become more and more apparent that women are much better leaders. Whether it is nature or culture does not matter, but research shows that women are more empathetic and better at building and maintaining a team. Two crucial traits of good leaders. They are slightly less inclined to take risks and score about 40 percent lower on narcissism. A lot of women are natural leaders, but because the wrong idea of what makes a good leader gets in the way, we don’t see that justly reflected in organizational charts yet.
The problem is that men without talent and without qualifications do have the balls to request promotions and often receive them, simply because they look confident. That’s why we should raise the bar for men. We should not advocate insecurity, we don’t have to be super strict for ourselves or take ourselves down. But there should be a healthy dose of self-doubt. Most of us are average, but apparently we find that reality difficult. However, when it is in our favor, we perform better if we don’t fool ourselves about our ability.
I personally prefer to live in a world where people are aware of their talents and their limits. In addition, too often today we tell our children that they can become anything they want. That is not the case at all. You need talent, you will have to work hard, and happiness is essential. This is especially the case in a working environment.
But when you have no complaints, you don’t think too much about what you have to do. This gives you a very inconsistent thinking pattern. It is an easy way to explain complaints. We call this the recall bias.
It is important not to just cut foods from your diet. Because infrequently it makes you unhealthier. Those who take gluten-free products, for example, quickly consume much more salt, sugar and fat. Completely scrapping lactose in growing children is also not necessarily good. Moreover, it is of course not pleasant to no longer be able to eat all kinds of tasty dishes. So do serious research before adjusting your diet.
By extension, when changing jobs or job levels, you should be thoroughly aware of who are, what you want and what your capabilities and potentials are. It might prevent future disasters, disappointments and unhappiness.
Unfortunately society and the corporate world will have to live with a huge number of incompetent bosses. Some studies tell that only 10% of the managers live up to what is perceived to be a good leader. The rest is not necessarily bad but will have some serious flaws in their leadership.
We have learned above that overconfidence attributes greatly to the number of the wrong people in the wrong place. You also saw that some purely corporate principles, probably not well thought of, contribute to the misery.
Companies should better watch and monitor their management, especially on the point of self-confidence and not mix this one with competency. Potential managers should better look at themselves as to what they can mean for a company in a particular position. Self-reflection is of the utmost importance.
Conclusion + my no. 1 recommendation
So, what does this all mean for you and me? Very simple: as soon as you enter a company, institution or any entity with a hierarchy, chances are sky-high that you will meet with an incompetent or even bad boss at one point or another in your career. I will do one better: chances are you will have this repeatedly!
In the light of all this everybody with a job should, at the same time, be preparing an escape route in case of future disasters. There are ways to do this with the help of the internet. My advice to you is to start making money on the side by working from home. Becoming your own boss so to speak. Affiliate marketing would be the way, as I have been doing since 2014.
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