How to deal with a senile, blind, unthinking, incompetent boss — like yours

If you can get your boss to repeat what you say, there is still only a 50-50 chance he understood or thought about what he repeated.  There is only a 10% chance he will remember it in a week. Harsh?  No. Guys who get PhD’s in education will agree.

Have you ever felt like your boss was from a cartoon show?

How could you?!  Haven’t you learned anything from that guy who gives those sermons at church….Captain Whatshisname? (The Simpsons)

How many times do I have to tell them?

Your sweet boss is a senile, blind, unthinking, incompetent, well meaning person. Treat him that way, without offending him, and you’ll do well.

I only exaggerated a little. Here is why:

Everyone hears, but no one listens.

My wife and I were in charge of various activities at church, but very few people came.  Then we were told the key.  If a person at church is reminded of something 3 times, there is a chance they will consider it.  If they are reminded 6 times, it is likely they will remember hearing it once or twice.  So we started letting people know by announcements from the pulpit, notices on the bulletin board, a poster in the lobby, announcements in each Sunday School class, and an announcement at the Wednesday night meeting.  We did the notification for 3 weeks preceeding each event.  Suddenly people started coming.  They finally got it. They finally remembered. You have to repeat things over and over.

Again, if you can get your boss to repeat what you say, there is still only a 50-50 chance he understood or thought about what he repeated.  There is only a 10% chance he will remember it in a week. The studies have been done to prove it.

So the key to getting your boss to really understand is to remind him repeatedly.  How often? Every single week.

Forever?  Yes, forever. Yes, every week.

Your boss really only wants to think about your competence as he puts together your annual performance  review.  Otherwise, he just wants you to be excellent and not cause him any extra work.  You have to treat him like we treat the congregation at church.  He needs to be told over and over about what you have accomplished.

I suggest you submit a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual progress report to your boss.  Submit it even if he says, “You don’t have to.”  Tell him, “I hope you don’t mind.   I just want to be sure you understand what is going on.”  If he still objects, tell him you are gathering documentation for your annual review for him.  Keep it brief, but make it regular.

If you get those reports to your boss each week, I’ll bet he starts to file them in a special folder for you.  Then when he has to do pay reviews, he’ll open that folder and bless you for helping him out.  And your pay raise will be higher than it would otherwise.  When he is planning to promote someone, he’ll open that folder and know more about what you have done than about what anyone else has done.

Every Friday remind your leader why he loves having you work there.

Something To Do Today

Start giving your boss regular reports on what you do.

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Later:              A Korean attitude

What to learn from procrastinators

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