How to deal with a dumb boss

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Being a boss does not mean one is a good leader. People are mostly not promoted to a managerial position  because of their managerial or leadership skills. You must understand that if someone is your boss, it does not mean that they are smarter than you, or they know better than you. But it also does not mean that you have to disagree with them or confront them and cause problems for you. Remember, we are talking about dumb. A smart boss would be friendly and ask for your opinion even if he knows better and does better. A boss may not be all dumb but he may be in a specific area. If a decision does not heart you but your opinion does, I would say keep quiet. Some times you have to go with the flow.

To understand this let me tell you my own personal experience.

Once I had a boss like that for a while. He was less understanding and unfortunately had less knowledge of technology. So because he had poor knowledge of technology, he did not understand the changing approach to various jobs. Those were the times when computers were less common.

One day he comes to me and asks me to prepare a large report of all of our offices.  Report involved a lot of computations and analysis but data was already available. We had over 500 offices but content of report were same for all offices. That meant, if I had prepared it for one office, I could apply that to all of them.

Back then, people were not very familiar with computers and I remember once people at our office prepared a report in MS Excel and calculated the totals with a calculator which was obviously wrong :).

Anyhow I sat down on my desk and started thinking how I could do it most efficiently. In my mind, I was thinking about various approaches i.e. macros, pivot tables, formulas and estimating time required which was in minutes.

Suddenly my boss comes and asked how was my work going. I said great. Then he looked at me and realized I had not even started it yet. He was furious. He told me I should have done at least one office by now. He expects me to complete the job in a week. Surprised right :). I tried to tell him how I want to do it but he kept on telling me how I should do it. Obviously he was trying to teach me how I can copy data and perform various functions manually and how much time it can take which in total was not less than a week.

I finally understood that if I kept pressing, it will be bad for me. So I said OK. I went to my desk, completed all the work in 45 minutes and started doing other stuff.

Next time my boss came and asked me how much work has been done adding how much should have been done which was 2-3 offices. I said that is done. So the whole week I kept providing him report of 2-3 offices which, otherwise was complete for all offices. He was really happy and said I was very fast and efficient.

After that I had the chance to work with many people of that type who did not know what they are doing but had the full confidence as if they were the master of that area. Same approach worked every time.

On the other hand I had also the opportunity to work for nice people who sometimes did not even ask me to do a job but since they were nice to me, I did it anyway and tried to reduce manual labor and work burden on my colleagues.

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