Summary of How to Work for an Idiot

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How to Work for an Idiot book summary


6 Overall

7 Applicability

7 Innovation

5 Style


John Hoover, an organizational leadership consultant, discusses how to deal with an "Idiot Boss" - or I-Boss - who does stupid things. Hoover distinguishes idiots from other tricky bosses, including those who think they are God, or who are paranoid, sadistic or Machiavellian. He leaves the reader with a couple of issues. First, you’ll think no good, caring bosses still exist. Second, he doesn’t tell you clearly where to set boundaries or when enough is finally enough. He often advocates appeasing bad bosses, although his other counsel on how to deal with them has some effective pointers. To his credit, Hoover is very candid about how he has learned from experience, including his mistakes. He offers personal examples from his experiences at Disney and elsewhere, and tries to write in a light-hearted or whimsical vein. finds the book strongest when it is strategic and weakest when it tries to be funny, given that with bad bosses you only laugh to keep from crying.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to succeed despite having a boss who’s an idiot, a masochist, a sadist or a self-anointed deity; and
  • How to use tactics that might add serenity to your workplace.

About the Author

John Hoover, Ph.D., is an organizational leadership consultant, a former publisher of books on tape, an executive with Walt Disney Productions and a division general manager with McGraw-Hill. His clients include Delta Air Lines, IBM, Hilton Hotels and Xerox.



Being the Idiot Boss
It is easy to become an Idiot Boss without realizing it; even author John Hoover used to be was one. The problem is that Idiot Bosses - or I-Bosses - are commonly clueless. They don’t understand what they are doing that is idiotic.

To avoid being upset...

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