Nothing special here.
Me - middle manager with four other middles - 14 directs dispersed below us.
Head of Department - Can't manage. One of the Marx Brothers could probably do as good of a job if they were alive.
As an M-Tools convert to the bromides: Tell your boss the truth and the truth will set your free - or You can't manage your boss, etc. etc. I know from experience, mostly from bad experience that they are pretty much true. So, having gotten here some 8 months ago and taken good stock of the situation to confirm the pattern, I have not said a darn thing to "try and help" because I know it is basically pointless.
Remaining silent, though excruciatingly painful for my know-it-all ego, has its perks. Got a great review and was considered the top middle manager. I by no means want to remain long in this situation. I related my desire for greener pastures to the boss and got "you can count on me for a good referral."