I had a conversation yesterday with the director of programming for a major association and she shared the following with me. She recently interviewed a female CEO who works in an industry known for having only a handful of women at the top. When asked what she attributed to her success she replied, “I do a great job of managing up.”
I immediately popped two copies of my book in the mail. One for the Director and one for the CEO. Clearly the CEO understands the importance of managing those relationships above and she has made it her lifetime mission to master this skill.
Now before you say you aren’t interested in being a brown-noser, understand that managing up isn’t about being the bosses pet. It’s about developing relationships with people in the organization who can help you get the resources you need. If you aren’t interested in doing that, then you shouldn’t be a manager. Why? Because your people deserve better. They deserve someone who can advocate on their behalf and get them what they need to be successful in their jobs. If that’s not a role you want to play, then I suggest you hand the job over to someone who understands that sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do even if it takes you out of your comfort zone.
I’m very interested in hearing success stories from those of you who have gotten where you are today because of your ability to manage up. Please post them on this blog so that others can learn from your success.