I joined a research group at a prestigous university last year. The group has existed for several years now and is very small. It has never had more than a handful of students, never a Post-Doc. In this time, no papers have been published by the group. Many more people have left the group prematurely than graduate. There is just one person who actually graduated, an undergraduate whose project's aims as stated by our PI were absolutely not met.
I fear the PI is great at making ambitious plans, but is bad at realizing any of them. I have not actually seen anybody in our group realize anything. I began with a project, which should have been a cooperation with another group, but for various reasons this other group is not really able or willing to fully hold up their end of the bargain. Instead, I feel I am being led on a wild goose chase, where I am supposed to do this or that every other week. I recently spoke with other PIs I am friends with about our research efforts and they are very sceptical this can be pulled off, especially given my current PI's previous track record in this field. I am unsure if he is leading us anywhere.
So I have begun pursuing my own research interests on something that I/one can actually realize. My advisor knows of this, but doesn't show much interest in it.
The PI is rarely at university, less than a few hours a week. In my time at university he has been in the lab maybe twice. Instead he criticizes my colleagues in the group meeting as too lazy and slow. And in private conversations with me, he has repeatedly stated how much he thinks they lack the abilities of being an independent researcher or being generally effective. I do not know what he thinks or says about me.
So to reiterate my question, I feel like this is a text book example of a failing group. Is this true? What to do in this case? I spoke with a friend outside of academia, who said the responsibility that can be taken, is a responsibility left behind by others. Meaning that this failure may be a chance to learn new skills and gather unique experiences in group management. But is this realistic?