How do we work around a stupid boss?

My boss doesn’t understand what I do or what our team does and is not an advocate of the business. How do we work around a stupid boss?

Stupidity, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Who is arbitrating on stupidity? In a business context the place to look is with the clients and commercials. Is your team/your boss meeting the targets expected of them?

Working for someone you don’t respect is frustrating, and educating or undermining your boss is not part of your role. It’s important that you are mindful not to damage your career by engaging in behaviours that could potentially harm you. Ultimately it comes down to what’s in your control to influence and what is not. What are you happy to tolerate and what are you not?

Research conducted globally by various researchers/companies always state that one of the top reasons people leave their job is due to their boss – “people don’t leave companies they leave their bosses” – is a consistent comment made by researchers.

So where does this leave you? What decisions do you have to make to help you perform your role more effectively and to enjoy your job?

If you have examined your role, your behaviours and areas of influence and evolutions survival of the fittest hasn’t taken its toll to your liking it may be time to think about your future direction.

If staying where you are and working with the situation is what you have chosen then grab a copy of John Hoover’s book: How to Work for an Idiot: Survive and Thrive Without Killing your Boss.

In an interview with Forbes magazine he offered some great tips including: “A clueless boss gives you a wide-open field,” and “Learn what’s important to your boss, understand what your company is looking for and help the fool meet those expectations.”

He also cautions against falling into the trap of your “own inner idiot” with the following quote: “Success and stupidity don’t mix. Your boss’s stupidity is only half the problem. Your own stupidity can easily complete the disaster.”

Take some time out and assess the situation you are in and make decisions based on what will serve you and your future.

Pollyanna Lenkic is the founder of Perspectives Coaching, an Australian based coaching and training company. In 1990 she co-founded a specialist IT recruitment consultancy in London, which grew to employ 18 people and turnover £11 million ($27 million). In this blog Pollyanna answers questions from our readers on issues they are experiencing leading or being part of a team.  She offers insights on teams and team dynamics. For support and information on team days run by Perspectives Coaching see here. Her previous Blog for SmartCompany, 2nd Time Around was about the mistakes she made and the lessons she learned building a business the first time round and how to do it better second time round.


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