Ever notice in meetings how a natural leader always emerges. The person that everyone looks to for approval and the one who will end up guiding the meetings direction and getting most of the credit. Assuming you have, you may have also noticed that this person isn’t always the smartest, best looking, creative, or even the most well rounded (this is a condensed list of the things he is not). Actually everyone might hate this person but they still look to this person as the leader… in the short term. In the long term the person maybe terminated, assaulted, or disposed of but chances are good that they will be promoted… and before the group can do the democratic thing and exile the individual.
So how does this potentially stupid, dull, and ugly person find others following him? He is the first to talk in meetings. He is the first to suggest ideas. He is the first to respond to emails. And first translates to leader. Pretty simple idea. Just like a race, the fastest person emerges as the natural leader.
But smart people listen. So can there not be a smart leader… (no wonder the economy is bad). But there is a simple solution. And unfortunately it is preparation. If you go to the meeting with a list of ideas already crafted out your well thought out ideas will clearly highlight empty headed ideas… as long as you articulate them. This is a must. An idea is worth nothing until it is put into action. And ideas get put into action by a group which means they must be shared.
Consider it your job to save the group from incompetent leadership. Leading often means more work but control is valuable. Control could save you from working on anchor projects (projects that continue to sink aka doomed dumb ass work).