In Harvard Business Review’s seminal 1980 article “Managing Your Boss”, John J. Gabarro and John P. Kotter identified three key parts of successfully managing upwards:
- Understanding your boss and their context:
- What are their goals and objectives?
- What pressures are they under?
- What are their own strengths and weaknesses?
- What is their preferred work style?
- Understanding yourself and your needs:
- What are your own strengths and weaknesses?
- What is your personal style of work and interaction with others?
- Are you predisposed to be dependent on authority figures, or do you tend to be more naturally independent?
- Developing and maintaining a strong relationship that meets these key criteria:
- It fits both you and your bosses’ needs, as well as your styles of work
- It sets mutual expectations
- It involves open communication so that your boss is well-informed
- It’s based on dependability and honesty
- It makes strategic use of your boss’ time and resources without over using them
Managing upwards is critical when it comes to being a successful leader or executive – book a call today to find out how I can help you positively foster this crucial relationship.