#37 – How Leaders Manage Up To Other Leaders

Managing up is as important as managing down or across your organization.  

As a leader, getting the work done is only half the job. Managing people is the other half. And when I say people, I mean ALL THE PEOPLE; up, down and across the organization.  

The more senior you are, the more managing people takes up a bigger and bigger percentage of your time.

Recently, several of my clients asked about how to manage up effectively and I think that’s a really interesting question.  I always want to know why someone is asking.

It’s often due to slight variations of the same theme… learning to deal with a “difficult” boss… which really means a boss you haven’t learned to manage yet.

I want to offer that managing up is so much more than dealing with a difficult boss. And if you’re doing it well, it won’t matter what kind of boss you have.  You’ll be able to manage all the bosses and all the stakeholders with ease.

Managing up is like any other work relationship.  The only difference is there’s a power dynamic associated with it. Ultimately, they have more power than you.  And by power I mean authority… in reality, it’s possible that you’re more influential or powerful than them.

But when you get caught up in the power dynamic, that’s when it gets intimidating. 

I want to offer you that these people are simply part of your team.

Whether it’s your boss, or another senior stakeholder, these people are simply colleagues who are there to help you get the results for your organization AND for your career.

Do they have the power to fire you?  Sure.  But what value does it give you to focus on that?

Instead, I recommend focusing on how to manage up in a way that benefits you and your team across the board.

My definition of managing up is nurturing a productive relationship with your boss or other senior stakeholders.

And within that, I’ve developed three strategic pillars for managing up that allow you to consistently create advocates and drive results for your organization, your team and most importantly, for your career.

And I’ll dive into each part of the framework to offer examples of how to manage up effectively

If you’re someone who’s telling yourself you don’t know how to manage up, or aren’t sure if you’re doing it effectively, then this is the episode for you.

Because when you effectively manage up, it’s easier to work with your boss, you have fewer hurdles, more influence, are included more and get recognized faster.

But it’s up to you to lead this work.

Let’s get started.


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