He's constantly overwhelmed and seems to know less about his job than you do. At the rate downsizing occurs these days, his responsibilities likely expanded beyond his skills before he could get the necessary training. Instead of becoming frustrated when he can't give you guidance, see this as the opportunity it is to develop your skills (read: request training), Kase suggests. And look for chances to fill in the gaps, like taking on some of his responsibilities when he has too much on his plate, or accompanying him at important meetings where your input will be noticed by higher-ups.
He's ambitious, he'll only stand up for you on issues that make him look good and he's not above taking credit for tasks his staff has accomplished. This type of manager makes no secret of his underlying need for recognition. "To make the situation work for both of you, pitch him on work you want to do by emphasizing its profile and importance to senior management," Moses suggests. And, she adds, next time your boss fails to publicly recognize you and the team for a job well done, know that, given his reputation, most people will realize that you did all the work anyway.