Dear Cubicle Coach:

I hope this doesn't sound arrogant, but it's hard to take my boss seriously, respect her, or follow her directions — basically because I'm smarter than she is. Thoughts?

Dear Smarty Pants:

CC's experience is that the boss is usually the boss for a reason (unless it's one of those Lucky Sperm Club nepotism things). And there's something to be said for respecting the office. Look, you may indeed be smarter. But don't throw it in her face — you're smarter, remember? The reality is, she probably knows it, too. If she is insecure (as so many of them are), she may try to humiliate you by putting you in your place, or she may actually realize she needs you and then do her best to cultivate you. No matter what, make yourself and your work known throughout the company so the boss isn't your only pathway to power. Soon enough, though, you may have to move on. It's like tennis or sex — you only improve if you're stroking with someone as good as or better than you are.

What Do You Think?