My new boss talks a good game but does nothing. He also takes credit for everything I do. I like my job but he’s a total pain. He’s been here a few months and I hope it’s not much longer. Any suggestions on strategies to make sure that happens? F. H., Bayonne, New Jersey
You’re going down a very dangerous path. It’s not your job to manage your manager. And as your supervisor, technically he is responsible for the successes you’re having. If he’s as bad as you say, his manager will find out soon enough. If that’s the case and you’re asked for input, be careful to be factual and not inflammatory. After all, you plan to stay at the company and having a reputation as someone who speaks ill of his/her manager—even if they deserve it—isn’t the perception you want.
It’s likely you don’t have the complete picture of your manager. You see how he interacts with you and can compare him to your previous manager, but you don’t see him working with management or his other peers. They value something he brings—and it may be the very thing that irks you, e.g., “talking a good game.” Maybe he’s an excellent sales person and is making strong relationships with customers. Or maybe he’s a great strategic thinker. When you start getting upset because he isn’t meeting your expectations, remind yourself that others see value and it’s not your issue.
Focus on doing your job as opposed to being upset about something you have no control over. You’ll have a better work experience and waste a whole lot less energy.