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TL;DR: Boss is a great guy but doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to tech. Asks me to implement stuff, micromanages me, and keeps me out of the loop about the advances in the company which directly/indirectly impact me. I feel that he's also a little threatened by me, and probably that's why he doesn't share more information with me in a timely manner. How to handle this situation?


3-4 months back, I joined the analytics team in a solar-product based company. This function was set up just a few months ago by my manager who has an MBA(great business acumen) but with very limited technical experience. I fully believe he's a good man, and social skills is his strong forte.

I am a technical person and have some experience and know a little more than him(since I have worked for sometime in the analytics domain). There are some best practices and invaluable lessons that I have learned that I don't see him following or even knowing. He has even acknowledged that he's not great at tech; I respect the fact that he was true to me about it and that he did not try to bluff me. However, I feel that he doesn't trust me enough with the work that I certainly am better than him at and for which I was hired for.

Currently he's responsible for setting up the databases and all the reporting requests come to him which he then forwards to me. He conducts every such meeting (be it communication with partners, vendors, other teams) keeping me out of loop. Even while discussing what new tables, fields, measures to capture, how to set up the tables, he wouldn't include me in them. He'll decide without consulting any one of us and delegate the work to a contractor who will simply do what he asks without questioning(in a half-ass way). As a result I have observed that database violates a lot of design principles e.g not being normalized to 3NF (3rd normal form). Basically he's not doing it the right way/doing blunders/making sub-optimal choices.

Also, I do not have a concrete example to prove, but I have strongly felt he's a little threatened that I, being his sub-ordinate know more than him and sometimes my recommendation/suggestions rub him the wrong way even though I try to be as co-operative/helpful as possible. I have tried to make his tasks easy by teaching him a few things to save his time/effort. It's funny that he chooses to trust himself to make the decisions related to analytics but questions everything I do to the last detail in terms of efficiency of the processes and the automations/reports I have created/performed/have it reviewed by another analyst sitting in another office in another country.

Most of the time he doesn't know what he's talking about. I appreciate his ideas(which I admit sometimes better than my own, and I make a point to tell him that and implement it the way he wants) but I do not like the fact that he would gets into the implementation of things. My main motivation to join this company was to learn something new. I am honestly not learning anything tech-wise but being kept out of the loop is not helping me to learn anything about the business as well. Even though, he's always pleasant in general but his actions rub me the wrong way. He keeps trying to show me subtly that 'I'm still a noob' even on things that I should be appreciated for. He doesn't trust me enough. I don't think he's aware of my strengths and weaknesses at best. At worst, he's trying to make it seem like I may not be as good at things that I claim, so that I stick to this job position which I over-qualified for. I do not care about who gets recognized for work. I simply want to learn new things, contribute to the business, earn money and expand my horizons all the while having a great relation with him.

I want more challenging problems to work on, and to actively be involved in the brainstorming sessions in which the business decisions are made, rather than simply seeing him make blunders, and then work with the non-robust processes he sets up? How do I tell him that I am not being insubordinate and simply trying to make his project better by implementing it in a more robust manner? How do I show him that I respect his authority and admire his business acumen but that he should delegate the tech work to me and review for a final quality check/approve them before deploying them on the field? How do I make his power-trip go away?

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How to handle this situation?

I don't see any simple solutions here. No magic bullets.

Sometimes you can gain trust by completing projects on time and without complaints about "best practices", by helping others without trying to guard your "trade secrets" work from others, etc. But sometimes that doesn't even work.

If you can't gain his trust such that he no longer feels the need to micromanage you, then it might be best to look for another job.

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    haha, you remembered my last question. you'll be happy to know that I have taken up your advice and implementing that on a daily basis. I always finish my tasks on time, work's a joke to be honest. I'll however have to work on parts about not complaining about 'best practices' and simply do what I'm told to do. – Jony Agarwal Aug 22 '18 at 21:14
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I've had a boss who was threatened by me and unfortunately there isn't much that can be done. In my case he was also not a very trusting guy so my transparency in my dealings with him and dropping hints that I'm not after his job didn't work. First opportunity he got he used it and managed to get rid of me by setting me up for failure in a task (giving me wrong information etc), announcing it to everyone in an email that my test had failed and not allowing me any forum to explain my case.

Bottom line is some people just want drones working for them so their little empire stays secure. If you're not a drone I suggest you move on.

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TLDR: Boss is a great guy but doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to tech. Asks me to implement stuff, micromanages me, and keeps me out of the loop about the advances in the company which directly/indirectly impact me. I feel that he's also a little threatened by me, and probably that's why he doesn't share more information with me in a timely manner. How to handle this situation?

The same way that you handle any other interpersonal thing where you want someone to change their behavio(u)r. You explain to him why it is in his best interest to do what you want him to do.

Show him how he can gain, and that will motivate him. The mechanics of it are up to you, but that's the accepted answer to hundreds of questions on this site (and it works outside of the workplace too :-)

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