I work in a Biotech company and my current manager has no scientific strengths. He is focusing on managing projects, but that's it.

Recently senior management decided that my work is important for the whole company, and I start reporting to a VP. Later on there will be a unit with other specialists under the VP, but right now I am going to be co-managed for a while.

However, my current manager is already politically compromised and is trying to use my expertise to survive. He already got demoted shortly after starting. He keeps asking me for details and then repeats them at meeting to people who know even less than him. My senior colleagues keep asking me to interact more directly with them, but my manager keeps trying to put himself in the middle to intercept communications and requests even if he does not have the competence to understand what a specific project would imply. The VP has a technical background and understands me.

I am happy that change is coming, but I can't wait to get rid of this parasite and at the same time I don't want to be the one who badmouthed his manager or got him fired. But I feel dirty when I talk to him, I feel more stupid every minute.

My question is: how can I handle the transition between my manager to the VP, keeping professional integrity and a good face while avoiding getting credit stolen by my manager?

closed as off-topic by scaaahu, gnat, user52889, Masked Man, Jim G. Aug 24 '15 at 2:48

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  • "Real questions have answers. Rather than explaining why your situation is terrible, or why your boss/coworker makes you unhappy, explain what you want to do to make it better. For more information, click here." – scaaahu, gnat, user52889, Masked Man, Jim G.
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  • 3
    So your issue is that your manager is.... managing you? Managers don't necessarily have to share the same technical background as their reports and they are supposed to be a link in the chain of command so that not everyone is clamoring for the CEO's attention. It could be that your manager is indeed overstepping his bounds but you certainly seem to be as well. – Lilienthal Aug 18 '15 at 18:30
  • 5
    professional integrity and "get rid of this parasite" don't seem to go well together. Until you have a new boss, respect the position this boss is in and behave accordingly. – cdkMoose Aug 18 '15 at 18:54

It seems your "escape plan" is already laid out. You report to a V.P., so any and all communication with your "manager" should include your V.P.

You are truly blessed that your V.P. has a strong background in the "hard stuff" in your domain. The V.P. likely views that as a personal strength of his, and will recognize and reward it in you. (It seems this is already happening.) He has likely been stymied with these "leech manager" types in his past, and has no trouble recognizing yours.

Keep your VP in all your communications. After all, you report to him, now, correct? Go to him (VP) with your senior colleagues' requests for more direct communications, and get it approved.

Also - there are few people who can't see it when a person is using someone else's words. If your manager has already been demoted, then that tells me no one is being fooled.

So here's my recommended action plan for you.

  1. Fully embrace your new reporting structure. Report to the VP, not the manager.
  2. Keep "your manager" informed as though he were the manager of a different department. Don't exclude him from information, but give him the results, not the deliberations.
  3. Get your VP to formally authorize your direct communication with other colleagues.

The stupidest possible thing a company can do is keep the smart and skilled people from talking to one another. It stymies progress, and often wastes resources through duplicated efforts. Your VP seems to have a full grasp of this. Use him as your shield. After all he's "your" VP!

  • I just wanted to add that... it finally happened :) – Monoandale Sep 26 '15 at 20:05
  • 1
    @Monoandale - Congrats. Hope things turn out well. – Wesley Long Sep 26 '15 at 20:39

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