Having an incompetent manager casts a shadow of incompetence on all who report to him. Determining ways to make them look good might be distasteful, BUT it is the only way for you to get recognized for the great work you are doing.

Contrary to popular legend, subordinates do not, as a rule, rise to position and prominence over the prostrate bodies of incompetent bosses. If their boss is not promoted, they will tend to be bottled up behind him. And if their boss is relieved for incompetence or failure, the successor is rarely the bright, young man next in line. He usually is brought in from the outside and brings with him his own bright, young men. Conversely, there is nothing quite as conducive to success, as a successful and rapidly promoted superior. – Peter Drucker ‘The Effective Executive’

How to increase your chances for a promotion:
  1. Learn how to coach your manager
  2. Find what your manager is good at; determine what you are good at. Then build both of your skillsets for improvement.
  3. Your manager is the most relevant customer of your work… determines how to meet their needs.
  4. Make your manager look good in the eyes of his/her manager.
  5. If all else fails, apply for a transfer.

What do you think?

Do you have any stories of you being passed over for a promotion because your boss was incompetent? What advice can you share on how to make your manager more successful?