managing upwards

The Truth About Managing Upwards

Your boss can make or break your career so learn to manage Upwards

  • I want to talk about an interesting topic and I call it managing your boss or in corporate-speak, we call it - managing upwards

    Now many people go to a really icky place about it - they go - Oh, well, I'm not going to be brown-nosing with anybody

    And that’s not what managing upwards is all about 

    It's not about sucking up to the boss 

    It's not about brown-nosing, but it's essential if you want to continue growing your career 


    Because your boss can either be your biggest cheerleader or your biggest roadblock 

    Especially if you want to grow in your current role in your current company 

    So what are some of the ways you can manage your boss? 

    What that really means is to make yourself visible to your boss 

    And how do you do that? 

    Be a problem solver, not a problem creator 

    If you always go to the boss with a problem, but you don't have a solution to go along with that problem, you’ll get known for all the wrong reasons 

    You'll be visible for all the wrong reasons - so don't do it 

    When you go to the boss with a problem - have at least one solution, one strategy to go along with that problem 

    And avoid the blame game - super important – never blame your team members, your peers, your colleagues in front of the boss 

    Some people do that because they think it's going to big-note themselves and make them look like heroes or superstars in front of the boss 

    Wrong - it has the opposite effect 

    First of all, you're going to alienate your colleagues 

    Second, your boss will see very quickly that you’re someone who can't take accountability 

    And what's one of the other great traits of an outstanding leader? 

    Someone who can take accountability, who is willing to take responsibility, who steps out with the energy that the buck stops with them 

    So be one of those people, be someone strong with accountability, who doesn't play the blame game, be positive and level headed 

    Life happens and we go through challenges at work and in our personal lives 

    And when you're challenged at work you get to see what people are made of 

    It doesn't necessarily mean that someone is always going to be bad-tempered, but sometimes people don't cope well with stress and pressure and you’ll never know if they’re just plain having a bad day 

    Don't be one of those people 

    Remaining calm and level-headed builds trust around you 

    Even more so when your boss is losing their cool and they’re not that level-headed - then be the person who calms the waters, supports your boss through a challenge and above all, calms him or her down 

    When you're going through a difficult time stop and decide to make a difference in your career - have solutions, offer solutions, take on more responsibility, be encouraging and be supportive 

    And then the big thing to manage your boss is always make them look good 

    So let me put it straight to you 

    People hire people to help them deliver 

    That means your boss hired you because they want you to help them deliver on their accountabilities 

    And when you do that in a way that makes them look good, kudos to you 

    That will be one of the biggest factors in building a great relationship with your boss 

    That's what managing upwards is all about 

    Not about brown-nosing, but about being a problem solver, someone who's encouraging and supportive, someone who's going to make other people look good 

    And recognising that you never achieve greatness by putting anyone down, including your boss 

    So be supportive, make them look good and work together to get the company's mission deliverables, actions and promises met and delivered and watch your career skyrocket