Incompetents Anonymous (IA) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from incompetence. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop being incompetent.
The IA movement borrows heavily from the traditional 12 step recovery process, while taking into account the unique issues surrounding the recovery needs of incompetents. The Audacity Prayer, for example, is to Incompetents Anonymous what the Serenity Prayer is to Alcoholics Anonymous. The IA triangle also borrows from the traditional Alcoholics Anonymous triangle, but rather than emphasise AA’s three-part solution to addiction (unity, recovery, and service), the IA triangle reflects the three key personality traits most often associated with an incompetent’s mindset (denial, immunity, and self-service).
These unique characteristics of incompetents, as compared to addicts, inspired the IA movement:
- Addicts must hit a personal “rock bottom” before authentic recovery can begin. For addicts, this bottom is often very traumatic and obvious. Incompetents tend to hold senior positions in a hierarchy and are often oblivious to the ills of their own incompetence. An oblivious incompetent is, oviously, a more difficult nut to crack.
- Traditional recovery programs emphasise the anonymous aspect of the process. Incompetents are not anonymous to anyone other than themselves.
- A functional addict can still be a competent worker, but the concept of a “functional incompetent” is an oxymoron.
- Challenges inherent in dealing with incompetents has necessitated the inclusion of an additional step in the IA recovery process. The added step makes IA the word’s first 12 +1 step self-help recovery program.
The Audacity Prayer: Grant me the authority to eliminate those that will not follow, the ability to terrorize those that remain, and the audacity not to care about the difference.
For more information on IA, select the “12 +1 Steps” category on the Dr. StrangeJob’s Blog.