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How to Work for an Idiot: Survice and Thrive...without Killing Your Boss Paperback – 31 Dec 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Career Press (31 Dec 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564147045
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564147042
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,405,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

John Hoover is a popular executive coach and leadership/communications consultant. He has helped dozens of clients in the corporate and public sectors, including ABC Television, Delta Air Lines, The Disney Channel, HBO, IBM, Hilton Hotels, Motorola/Verizon and Xerox. His clients welcomed him, praised his work...and sometimes even waited until he left the building before completely ignoring his advice. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Mar 2004
Format: Paperback
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. We found 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.
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By Andy Mooring on 27 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Will keep this brief. Did not enjoy this book at all. It is very business like in its approach and I found it very easy to put down.

Have to apologise to the author for this review but it just wasn't for me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 31 reviews
53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
A great "Humor" book, miscategorized as "Business" 21 Jun 2005
By Kent Ponder - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up while with my son in a Kinko's copy shop, and was pleasantly surprised. As a past employe, then president and owner of two national-distribution corporations, I've read a variety of business books, and must say I disagree with the negative reviews here, based upon taking this book too seriously. I have found Hoover's book to contain marvelous, David Sedaris-style wit and panache, though I do acknowledge that its value as humor exceeds its worth as a practical workplace guide.

In fact, the book is such a humorous parody, it really should be catalogued as "Humor" instead of "Business," as is inappropriately indicated on the back cover. A person who picks this up thinking it's mainly a business book can end up irritated, as other reviews here reveal.

I'll let just one example suffice as indicative of how humor is prioritized over practical business value. Hoover advises you to wear suits that are too large so that your boss will think you're earning too little to afford enough food.

In my opinion, the section on how to be promoted by being transparent and unnoticed, alone, is worth the price of the book. Essentially, in this section Hoover explains, tongue in cheek, how to advance yourself by being unnoticed until you're the last person standing, after the CEO has been arrested and the other replacement candidates are under indictment.

If you appreciate people like Sedaris and even Dave Letterman, I think this book will provide you a lot of insightful humor. I think caustic reviewers took this book much too seriously -- and -- seriously missed the point.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Laughing Out Loud 6 Nov 2003
By Stew - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
How to Work for an Idiot flows along and seems like Dr. John and the reader are sitting and enjoying a glass of wine together. Bringing in humor before the real meat is a fun way to learn. The 12-step program for recovering idiots was stimulating and fun to read. I liked the point that said, "We need to succeed in spite of the idiots in our lives." Real wonderful, solid advice. I laughed aloud at the line, "I never realized what it was like to work for an idiot until I became self-employed." The stories are excellent...strong points laced with laugh-aloud, self-deprecating humor. Dr. John has a winner on his hands.
Stew Leonard
Founder, Stew Leonard's
One of FORTUNE Magazine's 30 Best Companies to Work for in America
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
if you don't see the value through the humor, might want to check your inner idiot 20 Dec 2006
By victorian book geek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I, like others, picked up this book while waiting in a kinkos for the latest i-boss crisis to print. The value of the laugh I got when I shared it with several co-workers and consultants was worth the price of the book right there. But it wasn't until a couple weeks later that I picked up the book in utter desperation to talk me out of killing my boss that I realized its true value: the advice cleverly packaged inside the sarcastic humor (is there any better way to proffer advice?)

I know if I say this it will sound like I'm exaggerating for effect, but I'm not kidding when I say that this book saved my job. I've always been the one in the room willing to call attention to the white elephant in the room...not something most idiot bosses particularly appreciate. Dr John's book allowed me the ability to let go of my mission to "state the truth with humor and sarcasm" without feeling that I've completely surrendered to the corporate suck-up rules. Okay, so maybe John simply speaks my language, but I really do need to know how to be a teensy bit more political (aka telling my boss that his stupid ideas really have value so that I can get back to work and maybe even get ahead someday) in my job without feeling that I'm cooperating with the evil empire.

Even a comment like, "wear a large suit to make it look to your boss like you don't make enough money" has a hidden message that indirect, nonverbal clues might be a better way to make a subliminal statement because some bosses just can't handle direct communication.

Thank you, Dr John, for your insight, humor, and liferope. I recommend this book to anyone who is willing to look inside to their own inner stupidity and find grace there to deal with others'.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Thrive and keep your sense of humor 12 Jun 2007
By MVP - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is a quick and easy read that kept me laughing while providing solid practical advice about how to handle a difficult boss. There were a few silly parts that I breezed over. But overall, the tone is light, and the tips are useful. The author helps you reel in your rage by reminding you how unproductive anger is. And he helps you realize that making your boss comfortable around you is the best way to get what you want. If you're a person who's passionate about your work and you just want to figure out how to get around the brick wall of incompetence and idiocy that exists in so many workplaces, check out this book. Save yourself an ulcer and years in therapy and learn how to put your passion to good use.
30 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Funny but no meat 24 Jun 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We've become used to catchy titles for books. And for obvious reasons, they sell more books. But catchy or humorous titles usually are just that...titles. In the case of this book, the humor doesn't end with the title. It is in fact an entire book of humor. Upon completion of it, I felt like I had just spent a night at the Improv, rather than learning about a serious business issue. Now don't get me wrong, it is an enjoyable book to read and at some parts I found myself laughing quite often. However, I was looking for some serious knowledge to go along with the chuckles. This book simply does not deliver that. Throughout the book, the author makes conscious (or possibly unconscious)choices to divert the topic towards humor rather than dive deeper into the serious aspects of what an employee is do when they work for a terrible boss. In short, he "chickens out" when real dialogue is necessary.
If you're looking for a book to make you laugh, or something light-hearted for a Sunday afternoon read, this is it. If however, you work for an "idiot-boss" and need some serious guidance and direction, skip this book altogether. It will be of no use to you.
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