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Work around bad boss to forge alliances

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

Q. For years, I reported to the CEO. But the company brought in someone just below the CEO level, so now I report to this new manager who’s terrible. I rely on my new boss to get a sense of the CEO’s priorities, but after he comes out of meetings with the CEO, he’s vague about what’s next. Plus, he takes credit for my ideas. How would you handle this?

A. You’re going to have to expend lots of extra energy to make the best of a bad situation. First, build trust with the newcomer by letting him bask in your brilliant ideas and supporting his success (or at least not sabotaging it). In six or nine months, you can abandon this charm offensive if your relationship doesn’t improve. Meanwhile, cultivate allies in high places. If you have less access to the CEO, get to know other senior leaders, pricey consultants and board members. Let them see you at your best, and they can become your internal champions.

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