Summary of When Smart People Work for Dumb Bosses

How to Survive in a Crazy and Dysfunctional Workplace

McGraw-Hill, more...

Buy the book

When Smart People Work for Dumb Bosses book summary
Actually, working for a dumb boss isn't smart. Do you stick it out for your career's sake or hit the road? (Hint: Hasta la vista, baby.)


7 Overall

7 Applicability

6 Innovation

8 Style


You would be hard-pressed to find a more honest book about business and the often short sighted, un-productive, arbitrary, and just plain stupid decisions made by "dumb" managers and leaders. William and Kathleen Lundin articulately challenge the absurdities of corporate culture and the workplace. In this landmark book, they define "dumb" quite broadly: it applies to the stupid, the egomaniacal, the dictatorial, the scheming, the manipulative, and even the abusive. First-person accounts from leaders and employees illustrate the authors’ journey through the epidemic dumbness of corporate structure, decision-making, and practice. The authors thoroughly and truthfully present these problems, analyze their impact, and offer remedies. However, their conclusions often clearly indicate that if you are mired in a consistently, terminally dumb workplace, leaving is usually your best option. Don’t let the juvenile look of the volume throw you. recommends this book to everyone with a job: it’s that good, like a sharp-witted social commentary delivered by keen observers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why many employees choose to remain in abusive situations;
  • Why many companies insist on maintaining the status quo; and
  • hy you should learn everything you can from a dumb boss – and then leave.


The Leader-Follower Relationship
In the workplace, and in the inherent structure and culture of any corporation, the "leader-follower" (boss-subordinate) relationship can be very dysfunctional on many levels. Employees are often smarter than their bosses and have a better grasp of reality...
Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

About the Authors

William Lundin, Ph.D., and Kathleen Lundin are cofounders of Worklife Productions, a consulting/training practice that serves corporations of every size. Widely recognized for their straight-talking approach to workplace problems, they have trained managers for companies such as Ameritech, Hewlett Packard, Saturn, Harley Davidson, Sun Microsystems, Johnson Hill Press, M&M, Mars, and many others. They are also the authors of The Healing Manger, Building Positive Relationships at Work, Working with Difficult People, and Three Values of Leadership. They are based in Whitewater, Wisconsin.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category