What are ways you like to “manage up”?

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As the current “up” I’ll share how I would like to be managed by my direct reports if that helps.
1) Listen to what your senior leaders say and care about. Too often staff like to report out the play by play of what they did all week/quarter/year to justify their role. We know you’re doing the day to day (otherwise something else would bubble to the top if things weren’t getting done somewhere). What we care about is how you’re impacting the mission/goal/growth/strategy etc. Show us you understand the “why”.

2) Consistent and timely communication: Don’t go dark on a big project or initiative until you think it’s done or ready for prime time (or worse, a problem). Keep upper management in the loop that either good progress is being made and specifically in the right direction (not the superficial “all good here” be specific on the direction) and honest when things are not perfect, which leads to 2) get ahead of any challenges/pitfalls. Don’t assume we always want you to just “handle it”. We can help and make sure to support you through it. And probably seen these issues and can help solve from experience while still empowering you to execute/grow.

3) Demonstrate you are learning from our interactions so next time you can “handle it” without too much oversight, or can show you are taking an interest in the bigger picture (beyond your day to day) to understand/impact the mission/vision/strategy, and ultimately can bring more ideas to advance it.

4) Show us our blind spots: This might seem scary but good leaders know they don’t know everything and have blind spots. Find constructive and thoughtful (meaning smart not spare my feelings) ways to show us what we’re missing.


This is great advice.

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