Managing your boss
Posted by Meg Bear on January 26, 2009
Here at TalentedApps we have had a few discussions about bosses (both good and bad) but we after reading the WSJ article on How to manage your boss I thought it might be a good idea to spend a little more time on this topic.
First I can’t talk about this topic without a mention of our legendary family story, where an unnamed person [I’m married to], once told his friend that he had to go “manage his boss“. Of course, the meeting he was anticipating, informed him of massive layoffs in his industry (manufacturing) of which he was participating (doh!). Being a supportive family unit, we are still bringing up this story several decades later.
Second I was struck by this in the article
…According to the theory, we tend to assume that other people’s faults stem from internal, fundamental flaws. But we attribute our own faults to temporary environmental factors. For instance, when our boss manages poorly, we believe that he does it because he intends to and is inherently a bad leader. When we manage poorly, we’re simply making a mistake because of the pressure we’re under.
Essentially, most of us are quick to believe the worst in our boss and expect others to cut us some slack when we are at our worst. I’ll give you a minute to take that one in as it relates to your own situation with your boss. Do you empathize with his/her job?
Third I was thrilled to see Wally Bock suggest the following additional point
Your job is to help your boss succeed. If you can’t do that, it’s time to find someplace else to work. Without that commitment, all techniques become manipulation.
What an outstanding point. How many of us define our role as helping our boss succeed? Do you focus your energy to help make him (or her) look good? Do you put your energy on aligning around a positive relationship built on a common goal? I would submit, that if you are not, it’s not just your boss missing out. Worth thinking about.
To that end, I checked my quarterly goals to see if I’ve addressed this issue and here is what I found.
Support my boss as best I can, making sure my teams don’t spend too much time on any wall of shame.
Yup, looks like I’ve got skin in the game (in my own underachieving way). What about you?