What if Your Boss is an Idiot
Sometimes it appears that your boss is not as effective a supervisor as you are. Sometimes it appears that your boss is not only less effective than you are, but your boss is an idiot. As you make this evaluation, try not to get married to the idea that your boss is a first class idiot. Keep an open mind, and let time pass as you make more observations and interact with your boss. As you observe and reinforce your opinion of your boss make sure you’re as impartial and honest in your opinion as possible. Don’t let your emotions overshadow your evaluation. How often do you think your subordinates have observed you and have decided that you are an idiot as well? Your boss may or may not be an idiot; you have to report to that person anyway. You may be more effective and better at your job than your boss is at your boss’s job. Either way you’re there and have to endure. If your boss is an idiot and you are an effective supervisor you can still be effective.
Some of the decisions and actions that you have endured from your boss, may not agree with your methods or decisions, but your boss is the boss. As long as you have the opportunity to express your opinion or voice your objections to a plan or decision, then you have fulfilled your obligation. Your subordinate may disagree with you when you make a decision and you expect them to follow you final decision, so you must do that with your boss as well. The boss’s decision may be a better one than yours or it may not be, but the boss is in a position to overrule you. You hope for the respect of your subordinates, but you have to earn it based on your decisions and actions. As time passes you may or may not feel your boss earned your respect. Respect is a two way street it goes up and down the chain of an organization and you may not always agree with your boss, but you have to obey your boss. Respect is something else, you are not obligated to respect someone who does not respect you or your subordinates.
If over time you have come to the conclusion that your boss is an idiot, then keep that to yourself. Don’t share that with other people. Many idiots can be worked with, and tolerated, but some can’t be. You have to make that determination yourself. If you can’t work with the idiot, then find a way to be transferred or change jobs. An open conflict or a severe lack of trust between a senior and a subordinate is not a good working environment for either of you. Do NOT prolong that difficult a working environment. As I say this keep in mind the type of working relationship you may develop with one or more of your work group. They may be convinced that you are the idiot, and they cannot trust or respect you. Think about that as you make decisions and take action. As long as you are confident that you are doing the right things for the right reasons you will probably get the right results, but how those decisions are perceived by others may not seem as right as you see them. As you evaluate the possible harsh evaluation of you by subordinates, consider that as you harshly evaluate your potential idiot /boss.