When your boss loves you, you have options. Here's how to help your manager get what they need, so you get what you want.
This is SO GOOD. You've so clearly articulated some incredibly important practices and uncovered what behaviors seem to make some employees natural choices for leadership positions while others continue to miss the mark. Also, lots to work on for myself here too.
This was such an amazing read! It really validates how i've navigated my career so far. All my managers have really trusted me because I've also learnt how to manage up.
Great read, keep it coming, Wes! Now I’m thinking how can I send it to my teams so that it’s not awkward haha 😬
Managing up to executives is different. They are busy, are removed from the day-to-day details, and have big results to deliver. Here's 6 things you can do to manage up effectively:
(1) Executives have less time. As I recently said, "Be bright, be quick, be gone"
(2) Avoid surprising executives with bad news. Managing up before the crisis is way easier than after
(3) Build trust before you need to rely on it. Trust is built through delivery. You must be in good standing or you start out in a hole when trying to influence
(4) Executives cannot be in your level of detail. Do not assume they are or get mad when they are not; instead, give them enough detail to understand without burying them
(5) As with all managing up, provide options and solutions. Let executives know what you recommend, have considered, what support you need (if any), and when you will follow up. These things are a complete plan at this level. They don't pay you to bring problems, they pay you to solve them.
If you want to stand out, answer the questions they didn't ask.
(6) Do not go around your management chain. If for time you absolutely must talk to an executive without your manager present, or if the executive comes to you, loop your manager in as soon as possible. This is not politics, it is common courtesy.
You have put it so well! The article has an amazing flow to it and examples that make it very real.
I have seen "Keeping the manager in loop" work amazingly well. Managers are human beings they are trying to make sense of decisions based on the information that is available to them. When you hide/don't reveal your thought process or stuff that have transpired, they don't understand the decisions. That results in a perception of micromanagement and possibly more difficult situations.
This article is a must read for everyone trying to improve their relationship with their manager. Also some tips just work in managing laterally as well.
Honestly, I don't think anything can be added or removed. Perfection!
Very informative and enlightening! Thank you for sharing
Really great and comprehensive article! I especially appreciate the examples. Also thanks a lot for featuring my LinkedIn comment Wes.
Awesome advice as always Wes!
I'm working as a heavy equipment apprentice diagnosing and repairing heavy trucks such as kenworth, peterbilt and paccar, in the same level as a journeyman with a completed 3 year post secondary education. I'm able to manage up but only in a certain threshold. The article is a great read
This is GOLD. I relate with the point on flagging up potential issues early enough. I have gotten into trouble for not voicing concerns early enough and dismissing the inner voice telling me something's wrong. Nowadays, I investigate my gut feeling and raise concerns as they show up.
The number 1 (and perhaps only) regret I have in my career is not having better relationships with my managers. I think I’ve always had issues with authority and had antagonistic relationships with a lot of my bosses. I now see how silly that was and am working on changing that, especially now that I’m a manager myself. This article is brilliant and extremely helpful. Thank you 🙌🏻
Great read! Love how you've simplified managing up into practical steps. It's super helpful and encouraging for anyone at any career stage. Thanks for sharing these insights! 🌟
Really well articulated. Managing up never ends. Thanks for sharing this!
Thanks, Wes. Many thenes in the article resonated with my prior roles.
Immediate takeaway for me: using information hierarchy and optimal backstory. I've realized that I need to improve this by 10X!
Really excellent - all the things in one post. Sending it to my team this week, thanks for writing it!