What to do when a jerk is sitting on your head?

How to manage a Boss who is highly incompetent and insecure?

Kumar, posted on April 19, 2012 at 02:00 pm    Boss

Nishta Gupta said April 25, 2012 at 07:58 pm

Dear Kumar,
Thank you for the question. Lets get the facts right - "Boss is always right". In a world where we are facing job cuts, recession, its time to get practical! If you fight with your Boss, it will only add to mental stress.

Couple of things I need your help to FIX this problem:
1. What makes you think that your boss is incompetent? Share some examples if possible.
2. What makes him insecure? Does he fear losing his job?
3. What behavior of his irritates you that makes you think he is a jerk? Does he nag you?
4. Is his behavior specific to you or he behaves like this generally?
5. Where are you and your Boss in the organisation hierarchy? Is he a very senior person? Generally, it is middle/junior management that it is insecure. Or incompetence makes a person insecure.

Lets work on these questions and solve this TOGETHER. Thank you!

Kumar said May 1, 2012 at 08:30 pm

Lack of Decision making, initiative taking and forward thinking makes me think that he is not competent. He is a big overhead on all managers. 50% of emails that land in his inbox are passed on to us with a single liner FYI. Most of mangers has already started ignoring his forwards. FYI is read as "Flood Your Inbox".

Myself and him(who is my reporting manager) were hired approx. at same time and were reporting to Director-Delivery. while he missed his targets very quarter, every year, I consolidated my position and business both. Just by mere number of experience he is promoted to take role of Director and I have to report to him. My projects were totally aloof from him but offlate he late he started poking his nose here and there. He tries to intervene in areas where he doesn't have any clue. He discriminately pass on the assignments to me which are not of my interest.

Nishta Gupta said May 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Kumar - Thank you for the update! This problem has couple of dimensions: 1) You feel that you are not getting recognition from the top management for the work that YOU are doing and not your BOSS, right? Your Boss is getting the credit for it and hence he got the promotion and you did not get that well deserved promotion. 2) Your boss is a nag and he does not do any work but just passes on the work to his reportees.

Based on my understanding of the problem stated above, I think you will have to deal with this on two levels, Level 1) Win the confidence of your boss by taking a consultative approach, ask him for inputs, and guidance. Turn the FYI emails into need more information:-) Maybe he can sense your irritation and also he is wary of you. Break that barrier and initiate a dialogue with him. Give him credit for your work, Robert Greene says in "48 Laws of Power", never outshine the master! If you can make your master shine even more in the eyes of others then you are godsend and you will be instantly promoted. Level 2) You have to learn patience - does not come instantly but slowly. Mistakes, nagging, interference - you will have to be forgiving and take it as a part of the game. People are the same, it is how you deal with them can only change. The more you get irritated, the more people will try to irritate you. Mediate, take a family break, socialize, watch movies in your free time.

Try it out! Cheers!

Kumar said May 11, 2012 at 01:37 pm

Thanks Nishtha for your great insights. Will follow your advise and report you changes.

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