October 18, 2016

How to Deal with Immature and Unprofessional People at Work, Especially if they Hapen to be in Senior Positions?

When an immature and unprofessional person is promoted to a senior position at work, then it speaks volumes about the kind of organization you are dealing with.

Such organizations are typically those where the people of the old brigade get promoted and get promoted due to just one factor - their loyalty to the clowns at the very top.

In such organizations, the management team is a close-knit coterie and is virtually like a gang of stooges of the top man.

Those in the management team are experts in the art of surviving (and in fact thriving) in their career using the abominable phrase - "yes sir".

The HR head in such companies is the key henchman of the top man. His only motive is to keep the boss happy. Let the employees go to hell.

In such companies there is huge attrition at lower levels. However, at the higher levels, people are basically stuck.

People at higher levels are essentially of two types.

One, those who are the incompetent loyalists, they do not try to get out because they will not get anything outside.

Two, those who are competent non-loyalists who are waiting for the right opportunity to fly away.

So how does one deal with immature and unprofessional people at work, especially those who happen to be in senior positions?

Well the sad answer is there is no way!

Because of the way such companies started, and where loyalty wins hands down over competence such companies are virtual hell holes.

How do you identify the immature and unprofessional people in such organizations? Here are some clues that are generally helpful:
  • There is a clear concept of inner circle and outsiders. And in fact, the top man activity promotes and protects this.
  • People are assigned to tasks they do now understand anything about due to loyalty and the top man's insistence on protecting the inner circle.
  • The stooges of the top man are one and the same. Challenging one of them brings the other stooges together like a pack of wolves.
  • The stooges go for lunch together along with the top man. This would remind you of a group of college friends rather than professional colleagues
  • The reporting structure is artificially erected to ensure the big egos of the stooges and the top man are protected and their incompetence doesn't get questioned.
  • The stooges play dirty politics, they engage in back-channel manipulations, hold meetings with the inner circle and find ways to trouble the competent outsiders.
 And how do you handle them?

As was mentioned earlier, you can't handle them. Such organizations are driven by the top man and his coterie and you stand no chance in bringing about any change.

The stooges are experts in scratching each others' back. They would go to any extent to protect each others' back.

They are more like friends than colleagues. Heck, they may even be staying in the same colony or nearby and meeting each other and their families may also be meeting each other over the weekends.

Who would be professional when dealing with family friends? Even if you work together?

Best advise to deal with such people is to not deal with them.

Move on, as early as you can. There is nothing better than that!

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