Managing Up!

I’m in meetings all day, I’m in early and stay late, but it seems there is no satisfying my boss… What is his problem? Does he think I’m superhuman?

The pace of change is only increasing and leaders of all levels are struggling to keep up. For them, it’s more about surviving than THRIVING… but one habit I’ve noticed from HEROES is that they manage up! That’s right… They manage up!

Most top leaders have a massive sense of urgency and it drives them to think bigger and beyond today. They are always thinking about what’s NEXT and not about what’s NOW or what’s realistic. They’re competitive, they love a challenge, and they have to WIN. That’s not a bad thing, but when you are struggling to keep up with their grandiose visions, my bet is that you are not effectively setting expectations.

Hero Tip of the Month… Manage Up!

It’s NOT easy and you will not be able to make this a reality overnight, but to design a winnable game, you’ll have to start.

  • Summarize – Make a list of all the projects that are being asked of you and include a time estimate for completion.
    – Use Word or Pages to create your list
    – List each project in 8-12 words
    – Include a time estimate at the end of each line (2.5 hours)
  • Prioritize – Cut and paste the projects into strategic order.
    – Adjust the order based on current circumstances, customer demands and shifts in priority.
    – Carve out time in your calendar to execute and delegate these priorities to your team.
  • Communicate – Initially, you will use this as the basis for your 1:1 conversations. Once you align on the strategic priorities, you can use it as a way to manage the daily/weekly expectations.
    – Depending on the pace of change in your company and the sense of urgency of your leader, you will need to align on the frequency of the distribution. (Daily, M-W-F or Weekly)
    – This tool will ensure your leaders expectations are managed and you can effectively ask your leader for what you need to execute on the current priorities.

Great leaders know that they are barrier eliminators for their staff. Once you are aligned and effectively communicating, then you can start to ask for what you need to deliver results!

Michael Hahn is a leadership speaker, mindset coach and culture transformation expert who consults with leaders who wan to unleash their inner hero! He is the author of Hero Habits: The Guide to Thriving in Corporate America and in Life.
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