I’ve read extensively and have been honing my management skills over the past two decades, and something I’ve found to be universal is this: unless you’re at the top of the organizational chart, everyone must manage up in order to be most productive.
No matter where you are on the food chain, you must be managing up. Supervisors, executives, and business owners need support to make things happen. They’re humans, too. You’re their eyes, ears, and hands to getting things done. However, not all managerial roles are filled with great or even good managers. So, it’s up to you to manage them as well or better than they manage you. This comes in three forms: managing expectations and delegation, managing collaborative time wisely, and sometimes managing their time, tasks, and projects so you can stay on top of yours.
In this episode, I’ll discuss managing expectations and delegation, and in the next episode I’ll cover managing collaborative time wisely and, finally, managing your manager.
Managing Expectations and Delegation
Your manager walks in the room. They give you three projects and five tasks to handle this week. But, they have a short memory because they came in Friday morning with six projects and a dozen tasks due by this week’s end. Now you have nine projects and nearly 20 tasks, and you feel the frustration of having to leave the office late a few nights this week or not meet these deadlines. This is where managing expectations and delegation is your job to manage up.
You must make sure to take into account that managers are not always tracking what they’ve given you to work on. You need to address your workload (and theirs for purposes of being able to review and approve your work) when they bring more to your desk.