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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Decatur Daily - Roger Stevens indicted on four counts of capital murder

While it can be frustrating to have an incompetent boss, an incompetent boss can seriously damage or derail your career.  If they do have a serious lack of knowledge, we know that they can do nothing to grow you as an employee which means any growth will be yours to make happen.  Let’s look at the potential damage they can inflict and what you can do to minimize or avoid.
Career impact:

  • Bad decisions – Because they don’t know your work, the decisions they make can have an impact they are clueless about.  They lack insight and understanding.  This means the impact to you can range from cleaning up a mess to putting you in a position that makes you look like you tanked the business.  It can make you lose precious time and focus or even get fired.
  • Bad direction – We look for our boss to provide direction in the form of “how to” all the way to yearly planning.  When the boss is incompetent, their directions can be bad or pointless often leaving important issues untouched.
  • Bad support – Our boss can be the single biggest supporter of our career trajectory but if they are clueless about the nature of your work, they may be supporting either the wrong things or person.  You can’t expect them to really know or understand if you’re delivering well.  They may be a roadblock to your career or simply no help.
When you have an incompetent boss you do have to think through how this person functions in order to use whatever strengths they do have to your advantage or minimally avoid career limiting outcomes.  Let’s look at some of the things you can do to prevail with an incompetent boss:

  • “Up Level” yourself.  In other words, leadership can come from you.  If you know your area well there is no reason to not go ahead create and pursue direction that you know will achieve results good for your company.  People that do this naturally are followed by their peers as an informal leader.  Management, although maybe not your direct boss, will notice your initiative.  Of course, you don’t want to do something that undermines the boss, so keep them in the loop.
  • Figure out the problem spots.  The boss’s incompetence is annoying but it usually impacts you and others in specific ways.  Try to observe what those are and make a plan to counteract the problem.  I once had an incompetent boss; the biggest issue was that he would sometimes make decisions for the group I managed that were ill considered and negatively impacted the company.  I sat down with him and asked if I could either be involved in those decision discussions or to direct the person asking to me directly.  It mostly worked.  There were times when that direction simply wasn’t possible but people soon learned that they needed to come to me for good decisions.  We worked around the problem.
  • Teach them.  Every time you speak to your boss you have an opportunity to train and teach them about your area.  It seems kind of ludicrous to train your boss but the ongoing investment will be worth it once they are savvy enough to know what you’re talking about.
  • Look for a mentor.  Just because your boss doesn’t bring much in the way of growth doesn’t mean there isn’t someone in your place of business that can be good for your career.  Look around for someone at a higher level that is sharp and going places with some type of a good connection to you.  Ask them to be your mentor.  It will be flattering to them and helpful to you to have someone helping you and in your corner.
  • Leave.  Sometimes it’s better for your career to leave rather than try to stick it out.  If you’ve tried several things and there is no improvement, it may be time for you to pursue something else.  This kind of situation can be damaging to both you personally and your career.
While an incompetent boss can be annoying and frustrating, they aren’t the worse kind of boss to have – unless they are nicely packaged with other short comings like being a jerk or tossing you under the train for sport.  Many times you can make up for their short comings and also “manage up” as they know innately that they lack many skills and knowledge.  Don’t let your frustration get in the way of managing the situation more effectively.
A Morgan County grand jury has indicted Roger Stevens on four counts of capital murder in connection with the November death of his ex-wife, Kay Stevens.
Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson two weeks ago upgraded the charges against Roger Stevens from murder to capital murder. A grand jury returned a four-count indictment Wednesday.
Two counts of the indictment charge that Roger Stevens killed Kay Stevens by shooting her to death while committing second-degree burglary and while a protective order for Kay Stevens against Roger Stevens was in effect.
The other two counts charge that Roger Stevens killed Kay Stevens by inflicting blunt-force trauma to her head while committing second-degree burglary and while the protective order was in effect.
A state pathologist found that Kay Stevens died from two gunshots and blunt-force trauma to her head, a Decatur police investigator testified at a January preliminary hearing on the murder charge.
Roger Stevens, 64, has been in Morgan County Jail since he was arrested a few hours after Kay Stevens, 62, was killed Nov. 14 at the Corner Bakery and Eatery, which she owned.
His bail was $250,000 when he was charged with murder, but that was changed to no bail when the charge was changed to capital murder.
Anderson said Roger Stevens violated a protection order that was part of the couple’s divorce decree, a violation that supports the change from murder to capital murder.
“We had been researching this since the new charges were brought,” he said Thursday.
Anderson said two weeks ago Roger Stevens committed second-degree burglary when he entered the bakery with the intent to commit a felony, which Anderson said was murder.
Anderson said this is the first time he has used the broader definition of burglary to charge someone with capital murder.
Burglary can be committed by entering a building unlawfully even if the burglar doesn’t take anything.
Defense attorney John Mays said he has not seen or heard any evidence that Roger Stevens committed burglary.
A preliminary hearing on the new charges is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 24 in front of Morgan County District Court Judge Brent Craig. or at 256-340-2438. Twitter @DD_KeithClines.

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