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  • So, Your Boss Is Incompetent

    Rather than giving up on an ineffectual boss, focus on what you can do to fill in the holes. “It’s the calling of leadership to understand what the organization needs, and what the customer deserves and to then help them get it.”

    Dr. Laurence Peter famously postulated that “in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.” He said that in a

    Courtesy: Vladimir-Melnik/PhotoXpress Free Images

    traditional management model, workers are promoted from one position they excel at to the next, until they finally get to a position that is above their level of ability. (Interestingly that could never happen in an organization like this.)

    He wrote a whole book about it called The Peter Principle.

    You may or may not agree with Peter’s observation, but one thing is certain: there are managers in many organizations whose subordinates consider to be incompetent. Maybe you’re in a situation like that.

    What can you do about it?

    Amy Gallo gives some helpful insights in to dealing with this difficult type of workplace relationship in her article, “How To Deal with Your Incompentent Boss.”

    Two ideas that I particularly like are “make it about you, not your boss” and “lead up.”

    Here’s a short excerpt:

    Regardless of your boss’s competence level, you need to work together to get your job done, and presumably advance your career. Managing your boss works best if you frame requests and interactions around your needs. “Telling someone who is not self aware that they aren’t self aware is generally not helpful,” McKee explains. Instead, say something like: “I want to do a good job and achieve my goals, and I need your help to do that.”

    Read the rest of Gallo’s Harvard Business Review article  here.

    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals

    Filed Under: Career


    About the Author: Donnie Bryant is a direct response copywriter and marketing consultant. He specializes in improving businesses' sales and profitability by creating compelling marketing messages and strategies. Find out more about Donnie at http://donnie-bryant.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @donniebryant and connect with him on Google Plus at +donniebryant.

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