Being confronted (surrounded) by incompetence is one of the most frustrating things in life. Unfortunately for me, I’ve seen quite a bit of it lately… as you might guess by the thoughtful title selected for this post. It came to me as I sat, facing incompetence right in it’s earnest little face and telling it to move on.
I have no time (patience) for incompetence. Enough already.
Consider that incompetence (like weeds in a garden) is something that no one wants, or embraces. It just exists, no matter how hard you try to stamp it out, no matter what practices you put in place, the incompetent slip on through. Maybe they have a secret way to communicate and call each other together. Something like zombies without the gore and flesh eating stuff.
Like weeds, incompetence doesn’t need much to become firmly entrenched in even the best of places. A pass… a lowered standard here, a mistake overlooked there. Before you know it these one’s and two’s have multiplied, just like the hardy little buggers you pull from the garden. Once they get a good foothold, getting rid of them takes dedicated time and effort, not lip service or hand wringing. Not wishing it was different.
Action is called for. Sweat and hard work, and in the end you probably won’t get them all.
You see incompetence derails all those good intentions, all that first-rate technology and talent, just like weeds take away from the beauty or yield of a garden. No matter how good (noble) an organization is, when it tolerates incompetence… when it looks the other way, makes allowances or allows personal issues to come before its overriding mission, that’s cutting the legs out from under any good it might do. You can be great, but if you allow yourself to be surrounded by incompetence, your greatness is wasted.
Of course, incompetence takes root in all the wrong places and seems to need little to sustain itself. FEver notice how flowers die out but weeds always seem to live on. Just like good, talented people work hard, but incompetence does its thing right alongside them, reducing the best intentions to a few fruitless words and nothing more.
A good gardener knows that weeds must be pulled by the roots on a regular basis to keep the garden healthy and thriving. Incompetence, whatever its reason, can’t be allowed to get a foothold. That’s why organizations need to hold all people (even the big guys/girls in the corner offices) to the highest possible standard. Or else everyone loses.
As far as I can tell, the only time incompetence does you a favor is when it’s someone else’s.