Managing Managers

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Manage Up, Managing the Manager
In business, as well as life, everyone answers to someone. Unless you are self-employed, your own boss, or an office of one, the likely hood is you report to another person. That person could be a frontline supervisor, office manager, or a board of directors. If you are on the bottom of the hierarchical chain the list of those above you could be lengthy. It is those people that often hold the key to your success and who provide the opportunities for advancement up the corporate ladder. Due to their enormous effect on your career, this creates one of the most important aspects of your job, and quite frankly one that is never outwardly expressed. This unmentionable task is being able to manage those people above you. It may sound silly, or like a catch phrase, but you must learn to master the art of managing your manager.

Managing managers, or better coined managing up, is completely different from other managing techniques. It requires a more cautious tactful approach to manage up the chain, but the outward appearance of it can become skewed. Newspaper columnist Penelope Trunk writes that “some people think managing up is brown nosing, but in fact, a lot of it is about humanizing the workplace. Managing up is about caring for your boss and the result will be your boss caring for you.” (Trunk). This deliberate process requires a conscious effort and work towards collective success. In no way is managing your boss a manipulation tactic or kissing up. It is work that creates a positive outcome for you, your boss, and the organization. In the end, if done correctly, managing up will create a work environment where understanding and cooperation create better relationships and positive results. For some, the idea of managing up may seem like wasted effort. In reality, everyone has had a bad boss or one with lackluster managing capabilities that we would have liked to change. The common theme in the shortcomings was a...
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