I work in a corporate environment and come from a Mathematics background. We develop products for customers and my job is to come up with mathematically sound algorithms to develop solutions. I have a person in my team who has practically got no tasks because skills are not relevant or not enough. No idea why that person is a part of the project (manager's decision).

I feel like someone who has little ability to contribute is just being there and being a leader. Many times talking in meetings and wasting time as the person lacks depth so brings in points that have little relevance. Considering not everyone in the team is a technical person, they are not capable of seeing through this.

I feel annoyed. I have a feeling like being exploited in this case - is this feeling correct or I am being unprofessional here? Am I going against team spirit? I feel like I am better equipped to be the owning this work. If not, how to respond to this situation?

  • 1
    Why downvote without reason?
    – Inayat
    Mar 4, 2022 at 12:14
  • @JoeStrazzere never asked him. Keen to solve this without going to him.
    – Inayat
    Mar 4, 2022 at 12:39

2 Answers 2


Project teams are often comprised of many people from many different areas of the business, sometimes with people who would otherwise seem to not have skills directly relevant to the project. This person is acting as a communicator, coordinator, liaison, etc., etc. They may not have mathematics skills, programming skills, or other skills you deem relevant, but they may have other skills relevant to the project and to the business. Their points, ideas, etc. may not be relevant to you, but they may very well be relevant to the business.

Are you being unprofessional? I don't think you're being unprofessional, but I do think you're being myopic.

  • I agree. But the said person does not bring those skills. e.g. requesting the admin to give access to a link does not need planning and communication skills.
    – Inayat
    Mar 4, 2022 at 23:02

You say in the comments that you are keen to resolve this without going to your manager, but to me they seem the obvious person to ask, as long as you do so in a more neutral way. The manager chose this person, so presumably had an intended role for the person. Perhaps they asked your colleague to solve things lik infrastructure issues and be an enabler. Do you have time to do that AND your regular work you do at the moment? Just say to your manager, you're unsure what this person's role is and what support or input you should expect from them.

I would also decide what you think is the exact problem it is causing you.

  1. Are there concrete problems this person has caused the team?
  2. do you feel they contribute nothing and the rest of you could pick up their slack?
  3. is it simply that you feel they have leadership prestige that rightly should go to you?

If there are concrete problems, then once you've established what they should be doing, you can raise them with your manager if you don't want to raise it with the person directly in the form of helpful feedback.

If you feel they contribute nothing but don't cause actual problem, then I'm not sure it's something you can care about. The company can do whatever it wants with its money, even if that's waste its money on someone who doesn't provide value.

If it's more around your own standing in the company, then that seems to be a separate conversation you should be having with your manager about how you can have your contribution recognized.


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