When Your Boss Isn't So Bright

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If you think you're smarter than your boss, don't start a coup.

There are a lot of bad bosses out there.

"As I like to say, there are different flavors of bad bosses," adds Amy Gallo, an editor at the Harvard Business Review. When the flavor is "dumber than you," it's hard to know how to proceed. You don't want to be disrespectful, but you don't want to sit stagnant in a job where you're not learning. 

If you think you're smarter than your boss, Gallo set out specific strategies about what you might do in her article, What To Do If You're Smarter Than Your Boss.

1. Accentuate the Positive: Have some humility and think about the ways your boss might actually have an edge on you. "It's your job, as his direct report, to unearth that expertise or unearth that experience you can learn from," Gallo said.

2. Cool down: Don't lead a coup. Your boss likely reached the heights where they currently sit for a reason. Trying to replace them or getting them fired not work out as you plan.

3. Find a stand-in: If you're not learning anything from your boss, go to other people in your organization. Don't be disrespectful to your boss, but ask some of his/her other colleagues for advice and mentorship. 

4. Consider an exit. Only after you make good efforts to learn from the people in the building, if you're still having a hard time, it might be time to leave the company.

[Listen to Gallo talk through these steps with Money Talking host Charlie Herman.]

Music Playlist

  1. Sail On (Remix)

    Artist: BWN Music
    Album: BWN Catalog
    Label: BWN Music
  2. Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive

    Artist: Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
    Album: Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive
    Label: Decca Records