How to Manage Your Boss

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    17-Jul-2015

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  • How$to$Manage$Your$Boss

  • Becoming)a)new)manager)is)an)experience)that)falls)somewhere)between)ela5on)and)enduring)the)business)end)of)a)re)hose.)In)either)case,)those)comfortable)days)of)answering)for)the)quality)for)your)work)and)your)work)alone)are)gone.

  • You$are$now$the$point$person$for$scheduling,$deadlines,$workow,$quality,$team$rela:onships,$and$a$whole$lot$more.$

  • I"dont"want"to"add"one"more"ball"to"juggle"in"your"workday,"but"I"would"be"le6ng"you"down"if"I"didnt"give"you"one"crucial"piece"of"advice"that"will"make"your"management"du
  • Make%sure%to%manage%your%boss.

  • Yes,%its%probably%uncomfortable%to%consider%wielding%inuence%over%the%person%whos%supposed%to%manage%you,%but%the%fact%is%that%every%manager%should%have%a%measure%of%control%with%the%person%who%manages%them.

  • How$is$that$even$possible?$How$does$that$work?

  • To#be#clear,#manipula0on#is#the#last#thing#were#talking#about#here.#This#isnt#about#forcing#your#boss#to#take#specic#ac0on#for#your#benet.

  • Instead,)you)need)to)be)fully)aware)that)you)have)a)great)degree)of)control)in)how$your$boss$perceives$you.)Remember)this:)

    Managers)control)what)their)boss)thinks)of)their)team.

    Managers)control)what)their)boss)thinks)of)them.

    While&this&inuence&may&seem&awkward&at&rst,&learn&how&to&use&it&so&it&can&start&working&in&your&favor.

  • What%It%Means%to%Manage%Your%Boss

  • Lets&keep&this&simple.&When&youre&managing&your&boss,&youre&inten8onally&and&explicitly:

    Se$ng'his'expecta0ons'for'your'team

    Helping'him'go'to'bat'for'you'when'needed

    Giving'him'reason'to'brag'about'your'team'to'his'management

  • When%you%give%your%boss%regular,%specic%input%on%on%your%teams%performance,%youre%elimina9ng%most%of%his%worries%about%project%performance%and%progress.%%

    In#other#words,#youre#feeding#him#regular#status#updates.#This#is#a#concrete,#subtle#way#of#lightening#your#boss#workload.

  • Making'his'job'easier'makes'your'job'easier.

  • This%principle%may%sound%complicated%and%servile,%like%Im%asking%you%to%read%your%boss%mind%and%polish%his%shoes,%too.%But%in%reality,%this%
  • When%youre%crea-ng%updates%for%your%boss,%dont%spin%your%wheels%deciding%what%to%include%or%what%to%judiciously%omit.

    A"er%giving%and%receiving%hundreds%of%these%reports%in%my%management%career,%I%know%that%all%of%the%informa;on%you%could%share%boils%down%to%these%four%issues:

  • What%your%boss%really%wants%to%know

    Exactly)what)projects)your)team)is)working)on

    An)educated)es:mate)on)how)long)it)will)take)your)team)to)complete)the)work

    A)clear)deadline)for)the)en:re)project

    A)quality)benchmark)for)the)nal)product

    The)projects)that)are)queued)up)next)to)work)on

  • As#you#keep#a#handle#on#all#of#the#micro5details#of#daily#produc6on#coding,#make#sure#you#are#honestly#and#proac6vely#giving#him#perspec6ve#on#your#teams#weekly#ac6vity.

  • Keep$communica,on$open

  • When%youre%new%to%managing%a%team,%its%temp4ng%to%put%your%head%down,%keep%plugging%away,%and%hope%that%the%teacher%wont%call%on%you.%Instead,%grab%your%courage%and%be%willing%to%talk%to%your%boss%frequently.

  • Its%almost%impossible%to%communicate%too%much%with%someone%who%is%accountable%to%someone%else%like%the%client,%another%manager,%or%produc8on%for%the%results%of%your%work.

    Put$him$at$ease$and$bring$keep$providing$informa5on$on$the$ve$issues$I$men5oned$above.

  • Prove&that&youre&informed&and&in&control

  • Regular(updates(show(your(boss(that(you(are(keeping(tabs(on(the(essen5als(so(he(doesnt(have(to(peer(over(your(shoulder(all(of(the(5me,(which(is(aggrava5ng(for(everyone.

  • That%said,%realize%that%youre%not%going%to%catch%everything,%especially%when%youre%in%a%new%role%or%youve%just%joined%a%new%company.%Sooner%or%later,%youll%face%a%ques>on%and%have%to%have%to%reply,%I%dont%know.

  • Never,&ever&end&the&sentence&there,&however.&Always&add&in,&I&dont&know&and$Ill$nd$out.

    Chase&down&the&answer&within&15&minutes&or&by&the&end&of&the&daybe&realis7cbut&make&sure&youre&seen&as&the&person&with&the&answers&instead&of&blank&stares.

  • See#things#from#your#boss#point#of#view

  • This%is%another%piece%of%advice%that%feels%like%a%hassle%but%is%really%a%shortcut%in%disguise.%Try%asking%your%boss,%How%can%I%make%you%more%successful?%Or,%What%can%I%do%to%make%your%job%easier?

  • These%ques(ons%require%a%small%risk%on%your%boss%part,%because%youre%asking%him%to%pull%back%the%curtain%and%show%you%whats%really%going%on%in%his%world.%But%the%poten(al%reward%is%signicant.

  • As#youve#probably#already#discovered,#most#people#come#to#managers#because#they#need$something.#Its#rare#to#have#someone#oer#to#help.#In#fact,#no#one#has#ever#asked#me,#Is#there#something#I#can#do#to#make#your#job#easier?

  • In#response#to#a#ques-on#like#this,#a#boss#might#reveal#some#simple#adjustment#you#can#make#that#will#create#a#huge#win#for#them.#Even#if#you#dont#get#a#specic#answer#in#reply,#dont#worry.#Youve#s-ll#made#a#great#aBempt#at#goodwill.#

  • How$Failing$to$Manage$Your$Boss$Hurts$You

  • Some%managers%avoid%this%topic%for%all%the%right%reasons.%They%want%to%appear%respec8ul%and%compliant,%so%they%focus%completely%on%their%team,%guring%that%their%excep=onal%management%skills%will%be%no=cedmagically!by%upper%management.

    Please&dont&make&this&mistake.!

  • If#the#payos#for#managing#your#boss#are#huge,#so#are#the#downfalls#when#you#ignore#this#opportunity.#Here#is#the#cascade#of#nega;ve,#unintended#eects#you#can#expect#when#you#dont#communicate#and#shape#expecta;ons.

  • 1.#Bad#news#will#reach#your#boss#before#you#do.

  • Missed&the&deadline?&Found&a&huge&bug&that&s2ll&needs&to&be&squashed?

    If#you#dont#make#communica1on#a#priority,#one#ne#day,#your#boss#is#going#to#get#blindsided#with#informa1on#you#didnt#tell#him.#And#he#wont#be#happy.#

  • When%bad%news%needs%to%be%delivered,%make%sure%you%tell%him%yourselfbefore%other%people%do.

    And$be'er$to$be$realis/c$about$exactly$what$its$going$to$take$to$get$the$project$back$on$track.$Its$temp/ng$pick$a$deadline$that$sounds$good$over$a$deadline$that$will$actually$work$in$order$to$save$face.$PleaseAAdont$do$it.

  • 2.#Youll#appear#clueless.

  • Neglec&ng(regular(communica&on(creates(an(environment(where(you(will(drop(the(ball(not(once,(but(repeatedly.(A;er(a(few(&mes,(you(boss(will(assume(that(youre(not(paying(a>en&on,(and(that(trust?bus&ng(kind(of(damage(is(dicult((but(not(impossible)(to(repair.(

  • If#you#have#a#choice#between#being#late#on#a#project#or#appearing#clueless,#always#choose#to#be#late,#and#present#a#solu9on.#Being#late#might#be#someone#elses#fault,#but#you#have#no#one#but#yourself#to#blame#for#being#clueless.

  • 3.#Welcome#to#micromanagement.

  • If#your#boss#is#convinced#that#you#dont#have#a#grasp#on#the#process,#sooner#or#later#hes#going#to#step#in#and#start#managing#your#team#for#you.

  • As#you#can#guess,#this#leads#to#a#huge#erosion#in#your#teams#condence#in#you.#Its#painful#for#your#boss,#who#has#to#pull#himself#away#from#his#own#work#to#take#over#yours.#And#its#demoralizing#for#you,#because#its#an#ongoing#reminder#of#what#you#should#have#done#to#keep#the#ship#aoat.

  • Keep$in$mind$that$in$stressful$situa1ons,$your$manager$might$resort$to$micromanaging$as$his$way$of$picking$up$the$tools,$just$as$most$new$managers$are$tempted$to$start$coding$when$things$become$stressful.$$$

  • Your%boss%may%resort%to%micromanagement%if%he%has%recently%been%promoted%and%is%more%comfortable%managing%programmers%than%managing%managers.

  • 4.#Your#boss#doesnt#have#your#back#when#its#7me#for#answers.

  • If#a#rela(onship#based#on#communica(on#and#trust#(and#regular#updates)#isnt#in#place,#your#boss#cant#go#to#bat#for#you#when#customers,#other#departments,#or#his#own#boss#wants#to#know#whats#going#on.

    Dont&take&that&chance.

  • Its%Never%Too%Late:%Start%managing%your%boss%today

  • If#youre#hearing#about#this#concept#for#the#rst#5me,#dont#worry.#Chances#are#that#you#intui5vely#understand#some#of#this#informa5on,#which#is#just#common?sense#communica5on.

    Theres'no'reason'to'cross'your'ngers'and'hope'youre'doing'it'well'when'you'can'have'a'solid'plan'instead.'

  • Invite(your(boss(to(give(you(construc1ve(feedback(so(you(can(clearly(see(his(priori1es(and(perspec1ve.(This(also(helps(frame(the(rela1onship(as(one(of(collaborators,(not(adversaries.

  • Ask%your%boss%for%a%weekly%mee1ng%where%you%can%keep%him%in%the%loop%on%progress,%hangups%and%changes%that%crop%up%along%the%way.%Establishing%a%regular%dialogue%removes%anxiety%from%boss?employee%interac1ons.%

  • If$your$boss$has$a$standard$format$for$status$reports,$go$with$it,$even$if$it$seems$frustra8ng$or$a$waste$of$8me$ini8ally.$Part$of$your$job$is$to$make$his$job$go$smoothly,$so$be$willing$to$oer$this$support.

  • Establish*a*No*Surprises*policy*with*your*boss.*Promise*each*other*that*youll*go*to*each*other*rst*when*big*issues*need*to*be*sorted*out.

  • Create'a'clear,'mutual'methodology'for'measuring'and'communica6ng'progress.'Avoid'vague'responses'like'almost'done'or'were'making'good'headway'that'can'convey'false'expecta6ons.

  • Build'alliances'with'people'who'aggravate'your'bosswith'his'blessing,'of'course.'If'theres'a'client'who'is'always'complaining'about'nothing'or'a'produc>on'manager'who'needs'a'process'explained'six'>mes'before'he'moves'ahead,'oer'to'take'on'the'issue.'Some>mes,'the'tension'comes'down'to'a'personality'conict'that'sends'him'around'the'bend'but'doesnt'really'bother'you.'Be'willing'to'give'him'a'break.

  • If#youre#s+ll#feeling#a#li1le#hesitant#about#managing#your#boss#a6er#all#of#this#advice,#take#a#step#back#and#remember#your#essen+al#role#as#a#manager:#Youre'a'communica-on'hub.#Keep#that#one#concept#front#of#mind#every#day,#whether#the#project#status#is#on#track#or#o#the#rails,#and#youll#steer#yourself#clear#of#many#basic#management#problems.#

  • Become&a&Be(er&Technical&Manager

    I"get"paid"to"coach"newly"minted"technical"managers."My"clients"quickly"feel"drama:cally"more"condent"and"capable"and"start"seeing"be=er"performance"from"themselves"and"their"team"within"weeks.

    I"am"taking"the"same"insigh-ul,"ac2onable"lessons"I"teach"in"my"coaching"and"pu8ng"them"out"as"a"free"newsle

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