During my initial years as an employee a couple of my superiors drove me to my wit’s end. Sure they were nice and I would have to be fair and say they meant well however in my view they were completely incompetent as leaders and managers. To make it worse people on the outside used to comment to me how lucky I was to work for such a great person.

I thought I was the only one who felt this way. Over the past five years working as a leadership coach however, I have discovered that sadly I was not alone. This scenario is actually quite typical and many of my coaching clients come with war stories of their inept manager.

Being a glass full kind of woman I decided to unpack this phenomenon and asked myself - how do so many leaders with such obvious dysfunctions manage to rise to and remain in prominent, senior roles?

Fortunately in my own career, I was blessed with several capable mentors and leaders who provided me the benefit of contrast. Still, working for the dysfunctional few prompted me initially to take my hopeless situation home with me – criticising, complaining and nagging the ear off whoever would listen. Once over the initial whining though these inept leaders prompted me to seek a way up or out, motivated me to work out what it was that grated on me so badly so I could find a new path without these issues.

The wisdom of this process was that in hindsight, I learnt far more about great leadership from a couple of dysfunctional leaders than I ever learn from the excellent ones. The pain they caused me was a strong learning stimulant for the following lessons:

Self-Motivation – Nothing like a dysfunctional de-motivator to force one to drive oneself to continue to succeed in spite of the roadblocks.

Creativitybland leadership requires personal creativity to find inspiration in new ways of doing things outside of the norm.

Patience – This is probably the biggest lesson I learnt and is an essential leadership quality. Patience under poor management does not mean I am waiting for them to act, it means I am persevering despite their actions.

By-gones – dealing with the stress of working under this dysfunction has taught me to be less judgmental and more inclined to give support. If you let bygones be bygones and trust that everyone is doing their best with what they know at the time it defuses a lot of your frustration and makes you more compassionate.

So if you find yourself one day working for a dysfunctional leader, take heart. Set your intention to being grateful for the wisdom and leadership tools that you will learn through the process. You’ll be glad you did.

Author's Bio: 

Self-made millionaire entrepreneur and chief executive leader Heidi Alexandra Pollard coaches leaders around the world to inspire and motivate people so they can make a positive impact and live their legacy not leave it! Get her free tips and advice at www.leadingvalue.net