Getting the Best from Direct Reports – Managing Up
“I want you to tell me when I am wrong even if it costs you your job.”
The above quote from Samuel Goldwyn (of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer fame) to a subordinate sums up the dilemma faced by many senior managers who find themselves reporting to strong, charismatic leaders many of whom are often the founders of their companies. This ‘damned if I do damned if I don’t’ dilemma is a perennial one and adversely affects the performance of those managers who find themselves in this position. Question; is there a way to negotiate this dilemma, can you lead when you are a follower, and if so how?
In this workshop we take the stance that not only is it possible, but it is absolutely necessary to develop the skill set to effectively manage your boss and to learn how, as one author put it, to effectively lead without authority. In ‘Managing Up’ we will not be attempting to be clones of Machiavelli, but we will be learning fundamental strategies and acquiring the mind-set required to:
- Create a work relationship based on partnership.
- Create an environment where meaningful feedback is both given and received.
- Fully inhabit the role we were hired to do – with the requisite degrees of freedom.
- Fully support our bosses in a way that allows them to operate at the right level and to be confident to really delegate pivotal tasks and responsibilities.
In this workshop I will introduce and explore concepts and tools such as:
- The Heroic Leader syndrome and its effects.
- The Responsibility Ladder and degrees of freedom.
- The Monkey Concept and the management of time.
- Social Styles Matrix and leader style.
- Currencies of Exchange and the Seven Influencing Strategies.
The workshop will be fun and interactive featuring plenty of exercises with the focus on building confidence to use the tools back in the workplace to get immediate results.
Working with the tools and concepts in ‘Managing Up’ will enable senior direct reports of the CEO to generate more trust with their CEOs, experience greater collaboration, thereby achieving better agreed decisions and better execution, and will pave the way for them to be more influential both with their bosses and within the organisation overall, whilst enhancing their own development and progress.
NB: Reports usually ask me if their bosses have attended a similar session. This session can be adapted to be delivered from the CEO perspective – how to enable/encourage direct reports to take responsibility and provide what CEOs want from them!