It's obviously annoying for the rest of us but, as he's our immediate boss, we're not sure how to tackle it.
A: Your boss is a toad. And the best way to deal with a toad is to lay a toad-trap. So conspire with the rest of your team; and next time you have a meeting that includes the toad, put forward an idea you've nicked from an obscure American book about advertising. Then proceed to the meeting with your more senior account directors and let Toad shimmy into his familiar routine. Wait until the account directors are about to congratulate Toad on his originality, then interrupt apologetically: 'Honestly, Nigel, I really don't think we'd get away with such obvious plagiarism.' Shaking your head, you leave the room and return soon after with the obscure American book. Be careful not to find the original ad too quickly.
Toad now has a choice. He can either say: 'But that was your idea!' or he can shut up. Either way, I think you'll find you've won.
Relationships might be a little strained for a while; but he can hardly complain about you to his superiors.
Jeremy Bullmore's responses to work dilemmas in MT are collected in his new book Another Bad Day at the Office? (Penguin, pounds 5.99)
Please address your problems to Jeremy Bullmore at: Management Today, 174 Hammersmith Road, London W6 7JP.
Or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into