I have been in my current role for a little more than two years. During that time, my group has undergone a major reorganization and I have a new boss. When I first began reporting to him, I thought that he was incompetent. But as time has gone on, I realized that he’s not incompetent—he just does not care. He has not made his revenue goals for the last two years, and he does not seem to care. It’s like he is on a paid vacation. While that’s fine for him, I worry about myself and my role. The president of our division very clearly does not think that this guy is worth anything. The writing is on the wall, and there’s no way he’s going to be around much longer.
While I think that it’s in the best interest of the business to cut this guy loose, I don’t want to get cut loose as well. I have a good rapport with his manager, and over the last few months, he has assigned me to several new projects, independent of my current manager. I feel like I should talk to him and tell him that I’m worried about what may be coming down the pike and ask how stable my job is.
What are your thoughts on this approach?
Thanks for writing. This is an uncomfortable situation to be in, for sure. For starters, your boss’s boss is well aware of your boss’s performance, but you do not know what exactly the plan is. However, someone who consistently misses numbers usually doesn’t stay around too long. Just because your boss is not a top performer does not mean that by default you aren’t. And if you’re a top performer, it’s been noticed. Why else would the boss’s boss put you on his pet projects?
Here’s what you do. You set up a meeting with the boss’s boss to talk to him about special projects. You tell him that you really enjoy working with him, and that you would love to take on additional projects that he has. Tell him that you know that his bandwidth is limited (everyone’s is) and that you would like to help.
The important thing here is that you make the focus on what you can do for the team. Do not say anything about your boss. He is completely irrelevant. This is a conversation about you and about how awesome you are. You need to align yourself with high profile projects and make yourself indispensable. Your concern is not with your boss. If he’s an idiot, that’s his problem.
Good luck and let me know how it turns out.
All my best,