How to Work for an Idiot

There's something to understand up front with "How to Work for an Idiot" by John Hoover. It is VERY in your face, confrontational, aggressive. It throws around the word "idiot" constantly, as if your boss was severely brain damaged and it was OK to laugh about it with your co-workers. You need to have a fairly thick skin - and be able to take everything he says with a grain of salt - to be able to get through this book.

The book does have some important messages in with its almost abusive language. Learn what sets YOU off. Something that may drive you insane might be mild and non-concerning to others. Learn your own strengths and weaknesses. If you map out your own triggers, you can be aware of when they start to get set off.

Try to be supportive, even when it's challenging - it reciprocates across the system. Often your boss - no matter how poorly performing - based his own style off of HIS boss and thinks it's normal. So learn your own sensitivities, read books on management and begin to demonstrate good techniques TO him. He may pick up on them and start to learn.

Respond quickly and enthusiastically do good things (no matter how small). On the other hand, ignore or go slowly with any inappropriate situations. Use psychology to deliberately reinforce positive behavior and steer it.

There are lots of different boss styles to distinguish, from idiots to Gods, from Machiavellian to others. The book makes jokes about how the bosses got that way. I admit I was laughing at a few of them. Whatever your boss's style, communicate with them. Show you can be trusted. Learn to be serene with what you have. Don't obsess about being "right" - let that go, and aim for harmony. No matter what you do, no boss is going to be perfect. Accept the reality of the situation. Seek positive change, find common interests.

Try not to bash and rebel. That only makes things worse. You work for YOURSELF - for your own goals - not for his. Make sure you focus on making your own life smooth and quiet. Learn his hobbies, speak his language to communicate more clearly.

Resentment doesn't relax you or make you happy. Let it go. A great, upbeat employee can really have an incredibly powerful affect on the entire office.

So these are all REALLY important messages for any employee to absorb - no matter what type of boss you have. My concern is with the language. It's very harsh and at times abusive. If you are someone who doesn't "need" this type of language to get a message, you could easily find it offensive. But if you're a person who need it told straight to get the message, this book can be right up your alley.

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