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Dealing with a Narcissistic Boss?? - TIPS

stryker

TRIBE Member
Tribe, please help!

I need tips and strategies to deal with my Managing Director. I've been at my agency for just over a year and about 4 months ago we got a new Managing Director who is becoming increasingly difficult to manage.

The client CMO loves him, which means my President loves him. He's essentially got cart blanche to run things as he sees fit.

Overall he's very social and personable but he is seriously, THE MOST DISORGANIZED UNATTENTIVE person i have ever known. He hasn't made it on time to a meeting once in 4 months, and is a full blown alcoholic.

Which leaves me with my current situation:

I like the company, I like my routine, I like my clients. I'm also a new dad x2 and my wife is on mat leave. So I'm in no position to shop around or leave for another year or so.

He basically cuts out at noon and drinks for 3 hours and then comes back tot he office all revved up and wants people (namely me) to stay late to "jam" on ideas, etc..

He's doesn't read any of the documents he's sent and takes no responsibility for the consequences of his directions. He actually doesn't remember half of the things he tells people to do and then weeks later questions why "did we do this?". He is however very good at a few key area and i'm trying to learn as much as i can but the other stuff is killing me slowly...

I tried confronting him once and blaming others for his actions and it failed miserably, so i'm try to take a smarter approach. The internet says to do this:

1. Understand their predictable patterns of behavior.
2. Understand that their behavior is deeply rooted.
3. Understand their moods and behavior will swing back and forth.
4. Try to connect with Empathy, Attention and/or Respect (E.A.R.).
5. Analyze your realistic options.
6. Respond quickly to misinformation.
7. Carefully set limits on really bad behavior.


If you've been in a similar situation what did you do 9other than quit)?

thanks!
Stew
 
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djfear

TRIBE Member
Step 1: Document everything (through email?) to cover your ass. Keep meticulous records.

I don't know the rest of the steps. :p
 

videotronic

TRIBE Member
the only thing i took from all that is that I want his job

this

He basically cuts out at noon and drinks for 3 hours and then comes back tot he office all revved up and wants people (namely me) to stay late to "jam" on ideas, etc..
sounds incredible to me
 

djfear

TRIBE Member
What if you go out with him for lunch and become buddy buddies with him, then you can keep him in check on a more personal level and you can both rise up in power - and finally go down burning in flames.

Um... maybe that's not the best suggestion, but I was going somewhere with it. Anyway, whatever.

baconpan
 
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derek

TRIBE Member
Keep your nose clean, do your job well, because it sounds like he's on a downward spiral and will fuck-up big a some point and get noticed by his boss.

Or you could talk to him about it, but it doesn't sound like he's the type that listens

At least he's not a total asshole, I've worked for one of those, and he was an alcoholic too; he'd been a miserable prick all morning and your best friend after lunch (until about 4pm and then it was Mr. Hyde again)
 

ravinjunkie

TRIBE Member
Step 1: Document everything (through email?) to cover your ass. Keep meticulous records.
This.

I wouldn't bother trying to confront him.

It's not going to work out in your favour.


I used to work somewhere where my boss stank like whisky on most days, upper management loves him and have even settled out of court on behalf of him for several counts of sexual harassment.

/shudder
 

Mr. Magyar

TRIBE Member
Here is an idea. Since he drinks so much, go with him one day but take your own car. Then, when you two leave to go back to work, call 911 to report that there is a drunk driver on the road. Having said that, quit confronting him because all you end up doing is painting yourself as a whiner.
 

The Kid

TRIBE Member
I had a boss like that when I tried my hand at recruiting a couple years back. Really frustrating as I knew nothing about the industry and was relying on him to train me, etc. Exact same deal, would show up to the office around 10-10:30 - leave at noon for a three hour lunch and come back half in the bag mid afternoon.

Finally I said fuck it and moved on, it just wasn't worth it. I see him now on LinkedIn old company fired his ass and he's now "President" of his own firm, i.e. works by himself.

I agree with above, document absolutely everything, cover your own ass - doesn't matter how good he is, if he's drinking that much, that regularly he'll go down in flames at some point, it's just a matter of time...

g'luck!

le kidskii
 

stryker

TRIBE Member
He wants to be Don Draper....but is more like Cliff Claven...lol


I only confronted him once and I was in his shit books for like two weeks until I went out drinking with him...on a Monday no less. First and last time I do that. We're actually on good terms since following the steps listed above but I think it's a matter of time before he slips up big time. Yesterday it was a 10 minute rant to me an another colleague about how he hates the Dutch and why the "jew" vote is no longer required in America.

Derek....he's totally like that. One of my approaches is to make sure he's fully up to date by noon so he can get out for his fix and leave me alone for a few hours.

stew
 
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awwnaw

TRIBE Member
I don't understand how the narcissism bit fits in to the description of his behaviour..? In any case I feel like you're describing my old CEO (you say 'agency' --I'm in advertising--wonder if same or industry teeming with nuts). I unfortunately reported directly to said lunatic cause I was fairly senior and there was literally nothing to do except keep an organized record of correspondence. So when he'd ask me a completely retarded question like: remember that editor we used for X clients TV spot, (when really he has a coke hole in his brain that prevents him from remembering that it was indeed just a designer for a very basic banner) I would answer his questions by forwarding an email to jog his piss poor memory and just state facts: here is the designer we used for the X ad. There was no TV spot. He'd never tire of looking like a moron and asking preposterous questions and I'd remove emotion by simply answering facts and forgo looking bewildered so no one was embarrassed. Tho not sure he was capable of it.

Most of us took this approach. I would build in buffers when he was really required to contribute. It became obvious to me it was a combo of laziness, needing his ego fed, and general coke hole brain. So if it was something he started and then made me chase lie a dog and his tail because he was too dumb to rub two brain cells together to really know what he needed, I would just work back to the initial request and offer to take it over. Then I would present him with the final product and he would take credit. He'd acknowledge and be happy I fixed stuff so I was still a hero to him. And he's in charge so it half mattered.

It grew tiresome so I left. In short there's nothing you can do to fix him, but you can learn how to manage his craziness offensively.
 

stryker

TRIBE Member
I don't understand how the narcissism bit fits in to the description of his behaviour..? In any case I feel like you're describing my old CEO (you say 'agency' --I'm in advertising--wonder if same or industry teeming with nuts). I unfortunately reported directly to said lunatic cause I was fairly senior and there was literally nothing to do except keep an organized record of correspondence. So when he'd ask me a completely retarded question like: remember that editor we used for X clients TV spot, (when really he has a coke hole in his brain that prevents him from remembering that it was indeed just a designer for a very basic banner) I would answer his questions by forwarding an email to jog his piss poor memory and just state facts: here is the designer we used for the X ad. There was no TV spot. He'd never tire of looking like a moron and asking preposterous questions and I'd remove emotion by simply answering facts and forgo looking bewildered so no one was embarrassed. Tho not sure he was capable of it.

Most of us took this approach. I would build in buffers when he was really required to contribute. It became obvious to me it was a combo of laziness, needing his ego fed, and general coke hole brain. So if it was something he started and then made me chase lie a dog and his tail because he was too dumb to rub two brain cells together to really know what he needed, I would just work back to the initial request and offer to take it over. Then I would present him with the final product and he would take credit. He'd acknowledge and be happy I fixed stuff so I was still a hero to him. And he's in charge so it half mattered.

It grew tiresome so I left. In short there's nothing you can do to fix him, but you can learn how to manage his craziness offensively.

I got the narcissist info from here. It's like an FBI profile of this guy..lol

Managing Your Narcissistic Boss - High Conflict Institute

This literally sounds like the same person...but he's not a drugs guy..just the booze.

He shows up to meeting specifically scheduled for his input and then doesn't show up and then blames the juniors for "not displaying a sense of urgency" and rants about how "How would you guys manage if i wasn't here?"...we'd manage by getting the f*ing work done on time.
 

rentboy

TRIBE Member
"How would you guys manage if i wasn't here?"...we'd manage by getting the f*ing work done on time.
Lol! Deep breaths Stew. Cover your back and he'll burn out soon enough. It blows my mind to encounter people like that in the workplace.
 

awwnaw

TRIBE Member
Stryker you are totally describing my old boss. Entirely. The only good thing of course is that you have a pile of people that share the same sentiment. For me personally it wasn't a death sentence because my guy did appreciate good work, so while he was mind blowingly crazy he wasn't a total asshole. But honestly talking to him about projects sometimes was like he woke up in some ditch in Mexico naked and wondering what the fuck happened. You need to move on. In the meantime just hide your time.
 
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